Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Summer Jobs Reduce Violence among Disadvantaged Youth

This  is  the  author's  version  of the  work. It is  posted  here  by permission  of the  AAAS  for personal  use, not for  redistribution. The  definitive  version  was  published  in  Science Magazine, Vol 346, 5 December 2014.  Summer Jobs  Reduce Violence  among  Disadvantaged  Youth Authors:   Sara  B. Heller1* Affiliations: 1  University of  Pennsylvania  and University of  Chicago Crime  Lab. *Correspondence to:  Sara Heller, Abstract:   Every day, acts  of  violence  injure  over 6,000 people  in the  U.S. Despite  decades  of  social  science arguing that  joblessness  among disadvantaged youth is  a  key cause  of  violent  offending, programs  to remedy youth unemployment  do not  consistently reduce  delinquency. This  study tests  whether summer jobs, which shift  focus  from  remediation to prevention,  can reduce  crime. In a  randomized controlled trial  among  1,634  disadvantaged high school  youth in Chicago, assignment  to  a  summer jobs  program  decreases  violence  by  43  percent  over 16 months  (3.95 fewer  violent-crime  arrests  per 100 youth). The  decline  occurs  largely after the  8-week intervention ends. The  results  suggest  the  promise  of  using  low-cost, well-targeted programs  to generate meaningful behavioral change, even with a problem as complex as youth violence. One  Sentence  Summary:  A  Chicago summer jobs  program  for disadvantaged high school students reduces youth violence by 43 percent over 16 months.

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