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Chicago jobs program reduces youth violence, Urban Labs study shows

News Article
Jun 29, 2017
One Summer Chicago Plus is a jobs program designed to reduce violence and prepare youth living in some of the city’s highest-violence neighborhoods for the labor market. This study was carried out over the summer of 2013 in partnership with the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services. It found that the program, which provided a six-week, minimum-wage job for 25 hours a week, reduced the number of violent-crime arrests for participants by 33 percent over the subsequent year. The One Summer Chicago Plus 2013 study—accompanied by a long-term follow-up of the 2012 program—closely examines the two to three years following the six-week program and finds that the reduction in violent-crime arrests is not driven simply by keeping participants off the streets during the summer. In fact, the decline in violence remains significant when the summer is ignored entirely. Researchers did find, however, that the program had no significant impacts on schooling outcomes or engagement, nor did it have a positive impact on formal labor sector employment for all of the participants after the fact. The authors do note that it is possible that significant labor market effects will develop past the three-year window examined in the study.
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