violence epidemic A White Paper by the Fall 2012 I-Team
IT’S A DISEASE “Don’t Shoot, I Want To Grow Up.” Powerful words taken from the magazine featuring poignant essays and letters to the Chicago mayor and police superintendent from 22 students enrolled in the 2012 summer in Columbia Links, a high school journalism and news literacy program at Columbia College Chicago. Those hot summer nights gave way to morning-after headlines that left Chicagoans, particularly our children, with a sickening feeling that something is wrong. We are not well. The gang and gun violence this city continues to experience is a public health and safety issue, with an estimated 60 percent of homicides attributed to gangs. Violence is a disease that is a serious health threat to young and old, rich and poor, and disproportionately affecting young people of color. As with many diseases, youth violence is preventable and treatable if communities take a proactive approach. The consequences of ignoring the symptoms can lead to the spread of violence to more neighborhoods and an increase in other serious health problems. This latest investigative report on violence, “Don’t Shoot, I MUST Grow Up,” by five high school students, examines how four Chicago communities are treating this outbreak. The I-Team targeted the South Side communities of Beverly, Chatham, Roseland and Calumet Heights (Pill Hill). The reporters chronicled the efforts of
residents and neighborhood groups to identity, respond and treat the violence found in their communities. They found that it’s more than policing, it’s the people. In 1988, the Institute of Medicine defined public health as “what we, as a society, do collectively to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy. This includes physical, mental, social and emotional health.” Today, more than ever, multiple players—parents, teens, police, schools, churches, doctors, social services, government—recognize the urgency in coming together to treat violent crime as a disease. The time for strictly punitive measures has passed. Even Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says we can’t arrest our way out of guns and gangs. What does work? Mentoring and early-intervention programs that teach young people social skills such as conflict resolution, studies show. A University of Chicago study, “Moving to Opportunity,” found that relocating families to better neighborhoods helped improve their mental and physical outlook. Public health helps communities understand their stake in preventing youth violence and finding remedies. We can’t afford to lose another generation to violence. A former politician once said, “All politics is local.” So is violence. Get involved. –Celia Daniels / I-Team Coordinator 3
Intervention makes violence unwelcome By Kyler Sumter Lindblom Math and Science Academy
iolence has made a home tories in 24 of the city’s 25 police young people by recruiting comfor itself in Chicago. districts, according to the Chicago munity members who have been Chicago’s violence rates Crime Commission. involved in violence and turned are nearly double the rates CeaseFire, a community organizatheir lives around. Earlier this year, for New York and Los Antion that works to prevent crime, has the city gave CeaseFire a $1 million geles, even though both grant to assist police in preventcities are larger. Officials have ing violence. Photo by KYLER SUMTER tried to stop the violence in “Now that we have the disease different ways. Citizens try orand the cure for the disease, we ganizing block clubs and groups cure it,” said Bob Jackson, exto watch out for the community ecutive director of CeaseFire in while others are intent on passRoseland. “If they had the flu, you ing laws taking away the guns. would give them a flu shot. Since Most people think it’s time for it’s violence, we give the violence a new approach. University of shot. You bring people in from Chicago researchers say that the community who have been “violence is a learned behavior,” affected by violence and take and that it would be more effecthem so they can tell other peotive to approach it as a public ple what they need to do. They health issue. Violence has had tell them ‘I’ve stopped robbing, a negative impact on everyone I’ve stopped killing so let’s heal and spreads throughout the city, ourselves.’ ” much like a disease spreads CeaseFire has been working among people. If a disease can hard to prevent and to stop the be diagnosed, treated and cured violence. Members work as with specific steps, we can take “interrupters” where they go out these steps with youth violence to halt the conflicts occurring in to achieve a similar remedy. their communities before they Inside the office of CeaseFire Roseland. Violence keeps spreading escalate into fights. They also because some say the police and citi- decided to approach youth violence work with young people, because zens aren’t doing enough to stop it. from a public health aspect. Ceaseyoung people are the ones who are The violence isn’t just happening in Fire recently changed its name joining the gangs and the gangs crethe “bad” neighborhoods--it is hapto Cure Violence, but individual ate violence. pening all over. Gangs have a preschapters, like CeaseFire in RoseFormer Chicago Police Superinence in nearly all parts of Chicago. land, haven’t changed their names. tendent Jody Weis estimated that Earlier this year, gangs had terriAt CeaseFire, they try to reach out to gangs are responsible for 60 percent 5
Photos by KYLER SUMTER
From left: Steve Warren, 19, student / volunteer at CeaseFire; Cheryl Edwards, 20, another CeaseFire volunteer; Bob Jackson, executive director of CeaseFire Roseland.
of Chicago’s homicides. In recent years, the federal government’s National Youth Gang Survey has shown that 40 percent to 50 percent of gang members are under the age of 18, making prevention and early intervention of this disease more vital than ever. Jackson believes that with young people everything starts with the family. “We have to start loving our young people and caring about our young people,” he said. “We need to be invested in the lives of our young people, and the most important thing we need to do is listen. When young people talk don’t react, don’t cut them off.... If I keep shutting you down, you’ll just find someone else who will listen [gangs].” CeaseFire is confident its approach is effective because it is “targeting the right individuals and giving them hope.” Andrea Zopp, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, wrote that in 2008 CeaseFire Chicago had its funding cut. In some neighborhoods that summer, in particular Roseland, the shootings increased, the website quoted Zopp. Other reports also indicate that CeaseFire’s approach is having an impact on youth violence. According to National Criminal Justice Reference Service, “Overall, 6
the program (CeaseFire) areas grew noticeably safer in six of the seven sites.” The young people who volunteer and work at CeaseFire have all been impacted by violence and gangs and are fed up. “The violence is all about turf, and it’s not helping anyone,” said Steve Warren, 19, a student and volunteer at CeaseFire. “Everyone needs to stop and get together.” He said preventing teens from joining gangs starts with the family. “You need to have a father in your life,” said Warren. “You need to have someone you look up to, someone you respect, someone who will have fun with you and take you places. Someone who will get you out of the neighborhood with the bad guys.” Young people just want to be around people who care for them and in many cases the only people who care for them are the gangs. Jessicia Morris, 21, a former gang member, said she only joined the gang because the gangs showed her love. Nonetheless, the young people interviewed said it is never too late to get out of the gang. Morris says that if your mindset is still right, that you can still leave the gang. “Right now gang banging isn’t like it used to be; there’s no structure in
it.” Police reports confirm the gangs have splintered into “unsupervised” factions, resulting in shootouts over turf on neighborhood blocks. De’andre Charleston, 21, said it’s never too late to help someone who is in a gang. “It’s always their decision,” he said. “They need to think about if it’s worth it.” Charleston said the best way to prevent young people from joining gangs is to give them opportunities. “If you give people more opportunities and things to do out here, that will make them not want to join a gang,” he said. “In this generation, it ain’t nothing to do,” a reference to the lack of jobs and youth training programs. The Chicago communities with the highest rates of violence are also the areas with the highest level of youth unemployment, an analysis of crime statistics and Census data showed. Charleston added that what CeaseFire is doing is effective but to stop the violence it will require more effort. “Other people have to want it too and they have to be patient,” he said. “It takes time, it won’t happen overnight.” Meanwhile, the violence has taken a toll on Charleston, who doesn’t want to be in certain areas anymore. Researchers examining violence as a public health issue report pro-
Teenagers and young adults are most often the victims of homicide in Chicago. Each year since 2007, more 15- to-24year-olds have been killed than any other age group. And murders of these young people have increased since 2010. The city is one place to reach 235 murders of 15- to-24-year-olds, almost 65 more murders for that age group in 2010. Source: Redeye Chicago redeyechicago.com
longed exposure to stressful environments can lead to other common diseases such as depression, hypertension and diabetes. Violence is just as deadly a disease as cancer, said Dr. Hieu Ton-That, a trauma surgeon at Loyola University Medical Center. Cheryl Edwards, 20, works with CeaseFire and sees how young people are benefiting from the intervention program. “The best way to prevent young people from joining gangs is what CeaseFire is doing, getting people off the streets,” she said. “Keeping people busy works.” Like Charleston, she said that the violence and gangs around her make her life more stressful. Keeping busy means keeping informed to a former gang member and ex-convict. Marcus Carothers, 31, said education is a very important factor when it comes to resisting gangs. “When you graduate it separates you from what is going on in the community,” Carothers said. “Success can disconnect you from
the neighborhood.” The young people at CeaseFire said the best way to get young people more interested in school is to give them something interesting to do. Warren and Edwards both talked about the public schools having more youth and after-school programs. Warren is graduating from Julian High School and is excited about the possibility of attending college. When there is nothing to do, gangs fill the void. Gangs create a lot of the violence and we need to counteract teens’ attraction to these infectious groups. That is a hard task because in many communities the gangs are the only way out. Programs like CeaseFire that reach out to teens offer an alternative. The problem is there aren’t many programs like CeaseFire. “To be honest CeaseFire is the only program I’ve ever seen in any community,” said Morris. “We need to have more programs and more block clubs to help prevent the violence.”
Starting these programs isn’t easy. “It was very hard to start because young people don’t trust,” Jackson said of CeaseFire-Roseland. “They have been burned so many times. They have been burned by people in their family. They betrayed them, they went to prison on them, they died on them or they just gave up on them. We had to build trust in the community and help each other. That’s our motto; one love, one family.” Having an intervention program brings the community together and having a close knit community means people look out for each other and help each other keep our community safe. Moreover, to effectively prevent violence we need to help young people become more interested in school and give young people something they can do instead of being in a gang. Kyler Sumter is a sophomore at Lindblom Math and Science Academy. 7
Joel Irizarry, now 31, will never walk again. Gun violence took its toll when he was 17.
PARALYSES, BRAIN INJURIES: The carnage lingers
well into adulthood By Lily Moore Northside College Prep High School
iolence in Chicago is rising at an alarming rate. Through October 2012, 442 homicides have been recorded, according to Chicago Police Department, and there are still nearly two months left of the year. CPD also says that, on average, about 290 people are killed by gun violence every year on Chicagoâ€™s South Side. The nationâ€™s doctors are examining violence as a public health issue, as people begin to realize that gun violence is not only killing hundreds each year, but it is also causing other serious health problems at rates similar to well-recognized health issues. A study conducted by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center found that 23 percent of spinal cord injuries are caused by gun violence. That number is only 6 percent behind stroke, at 29 percent, and well ahead of multiple sclerosis (17 percent) and cerebral palsy (7 percent.) The same study found that 59.2 percent of paralysis victims and 62.7 percent of spinal cord injury victims report their annual household income is less than $25,000. Gun violence is taking a huge toll on the city, causing thousands of chronic injuries and keeping families in
Photo by LILY MOORE 8
Sheehan has published many works discussing violence and the effects of violence, as well as some that discuss the effects of anti-violence programs she is involved with. She is a co-founder of the Chicago Youth Program (CYP), created by a group of medical students at Northwestern, which works to educate children across the Chicago area. The Children Teaching Children program is a part of the CYP, which hires older children to teach younger children in the community about a variety of health issues. “The older kids were In 2011, Chicago's rate of violent crime was nearly double the rates found in New York City and Los Angeles. role models for the Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation younger kids,” Sheehan poverty. violence. He says these cases are es- said. “They taught them how to live In My Shoes, an organization run pecially tragic, because the victims in violent communities and stay by Joel Irizarry, 31, sends victims of are often young people. safe.” neural and spinal injuries of gun vi“[The patients] are generally Many doctors are getting involved olence to teach teens about the posyounger and will suffer [these injuwith anti-violence programs, worksibility and consequences of such ries] for the rest of their lives,” he ing with organizations and writing injuries. Irizarry suffered a spinal said. publications about their findings. injury when he was 17 and will never It’s obvious that violence can cause Ton-That says the anti-violence be able to walk again. The goal of a number of physical injuries, but fight is very much up to the medical the peer-led prevention program is Dr. Karen Sheehan, a pediatrician community. to help teens make choices (accordat Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's “Doctors and nurses and the ing to the website) “that will help Hospital of Chicago, says violence trauma teams at the hospital, we’re them avoid injury, incarceration and can cause an even wider array of really on the front lines,” he said. death,” which in turn lowers crime serious health problems that can “We really just see violence after the rates and the costs to taxpayers bur- plague its victims for life. fact, the results of it. We try to fix the dened with financing medical and “The effects of violence are not patients, get them back.” criminal justice programs. just directly physical,” said SheeTon-That thinks there is more to Irizarry says In My shoes is imhan. “[When] people are exposed to be done. “There’s a lot of science and portant because kids don’t hear violence from a young age, they are trying to understand, the science about these injuries often. However, more likely to suffer really seribehind treating violence,” he said. too often young people see themous health problems in adulthood. As a public health issue it’s a growselves as invincible. Health problems like depression, ing topic. “They say when you gangbang, the obesity, diabetes.” In spite of the research, one of the outcomes are either death or jail,” Sheehan says the problems start fundamental canons of the public said Irizarry. “I never thought about developing at a very early age. health approach to youth violence this as a possible outcome. They “As pediatricians we know that is protecting young people from never tell you about this.” the 0-3 period is a really important situations in the home, school and Dr. Hieu H. Ton-That, a trauma time for brain development,” said community that put them at risk. surgeon at Loyola University MedSheehan. “Right now, there’s all this And when the violence has occurred, ical Center, has spent some time work coming out about toxic stress then intervention and treatment, working against youth violence with and how that can really disrupt the not more punitive measures, are Cure Violence (formerly known as neural network. So that makes it needed. CeaseFire). Like Irizarry, Ton-That really hard for children who grew up says people don’t seem to recognize in violent homes, in violent neighLily Moore is a sophomore at paralyses as a consequence of the borhoods to develop healthy.” Northside College Prep. 9
It takes a community By Matthew Wettig Lane Tech High School
he stress. Constantly living in fear, never knowing if you'll be next. Gang violence is a public health crisis; it affects communities as a whole. However, some people are going beyond the call of duty in serving their neighborhood. Angela Hongo, a longtime resident and activist in Pill Hill, calls gang violence the “genocide of the next generation." Pill Hill is made up of a few blocks nestled within the Calumet Heights community on the Southeast Side, where there has been a surprising rise in homicides this year, the Chicago Police Department reported. Previously the middle-class area was regarded as relatively safe, but the rise in crime has many residents rethinking the idea. There was one murder in Calumet Heights in 2010. There have been five thus far in 2012, police report, with two of the murders occurring in Pill Hill on the same block of Chappel during the same month of September. Previous killings include a fatal shooting in 2011, and a killing in 2008. Like the two most recent Pill Hill killings, the shootings occurred on the same block on East 93rd Street. The symptoms of this disease can no longer be ignored. Too late for early detection, the 400 percent increase in homicides reported by police forced the neighborhood to seek treatment. Hongo works to keep her neighbor-
hood informed of crime and acts as a mentor to local teens, who she said look up to her. "A lot of them are out there on their own," she said. "They call me Ma; they respect me. Violence has a detrimental effect on people's lives, whether they experience it firsthand or not. It changes your perception of things. You may or may not see things how they really are." A recent murder that took place on her street left a lasting impression on Hongo. Hongo's son, daughter and some friends were talking when a car drove up and someone shot one of the teens in the head. This community doesn’t exhibit some of the common factors found in poor neighborhoods such as lack of education, high unemployment or lack of healthcare. Still, the impact of exposure to violence is the same. "Seeing [my children] carry on after the incident, they were physically sick, couldn't eat, focus and were in a state of deep depression. They just shut down," she said. "He died in my son's arms. How do you deal with the mental anguish of someone being here one second and gone the next?" The consequences of exposure to violence can even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), much like what soldiers experience in a war zone. Calumet Heights may be late getting treatment, but the residents of Chatham are taking an aggressive approach to eradicating youth violence. The Greater Chatham
Alliance (GCA) works with local politicians, police and other related groups to stay on top of what is happening in the community. Residents are trying a host of remedies ranging from posting crime alerts on the Internet to hiring private security to patrol the neighborhood. The community of Chatham is an aging one, with the median age being 38.3, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, 16 percent higher than the rest of the city. Although they may be older, the residents of Chatham pack a punch. Walking into a GCA meeting, many concerned citizens greet you. When the police commander opens the floor for questions, a firestorm of concerns and complaints are unleashed. “You need to make yourself visible,” 6th District Commander Eric M. Carter advised residents. “You need to know what everyone on your block is doing, you need to notice something out of place. Nosy neighbors prevent crime. I’d love to have 100,000 nosy neighbors.” Residents come armed with complaints, ranging from the lack of foot patrol to someone who had a neighbor using their fence for target practice every afternoon. As Carter answers questions, tensions rise as there is a sentiment shared by a majority of the attendees that the police are not doing what needs to be done to combat the violence on this side of the city. Other residents come prepared to identify alleged drug houses and
Some have suggested that well-organized block clubs are effective deterrents to crime, even in the most violent areas. An analysis of crime data and block club locations in Chicago suggests that block clubs can have an impact. The line graph reflects the amount of shootings and homicides recorded on 74 blocks with block clubs registered with the Chicago Police Department in the city's 10 most-violent community areas. Since 2009, shootings and homicides have fallen sharply on those blocks. Source: Chicago Police Department
other dilapidated structures. "Vacant buildings affect the vitality of a community. If there's abandoned buildings, it's a haven for crime,” said Lt. Cynthia Lance, head of the Chicago Police Department's Troubled Buildings Unit. “Then it scares away businesses, you don't get resources, and essentially the community dies." Vacant buildings have been shown to correlate with violent crime and depressed property values, almost as much as poverty and unemployment rates, a police department study found. Ald. Roderick Sawyer believes intervention by police and civilians within his 6th Ward is key to residents being able to utilize and enjoy their neighborhood. "Crime is going to happen if you stay in your houses all day," Sawyer said, "If you're out walking around, making your presence known. It's a deterrent to criminals." Sawyer also said that the majority of the community are law-abiding citizens, and when violence does occur, it's magnified by the media. James Northingham and John
Taylor, two residents of the Chatham community, patrol their neighborhood daily in an attempt to ward off potential criminals. "If we see something looking suspicious, we call 911,” Taylor said. “We've developed a reputation. Criminals see us and go elsewhere." Although they both agree that it is just pushing gang violence somewhere else, they say if enough people get involved in patrolling their blocks, it will help to treat and eventually eradicate crime. This effort is backed up by statistics from the CPD showing that even in the most violent communities, block clubs do make a difference. In Chicago’s 10 most violent communities, there are 74 block clubs registered with Chicago police. Collectively, shootings have dropped 43 percent and homicides have declined 80 percent. Alice Collins, safety coordinator of the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA), said that she believes that being a safer neighborhood has provided Beverly with more opportunities.
Collins’ work with BAPA is not only restricted to Beverly; she also runs outreach programs to help other communities with crime prevention programs. Beverly’s last homicide took place in April 2012, but until that point the middle-class Southwest Side community had not had a murder since 2008, according to Chicago police. It has also had no more than one homicide a year since 2000, and is considered one of the safest communities on the South Side and in the city as a whole. “We have disease and health problems here, but what I see differently is that with more infrastructure and opportunities for people [here], healthcare is more accessible, possibly lowering our instances of health issues,” Collins said. Hongo thought that her middle-class community on the Southeast Side had stability and hope, too. But a string of incidents that occurred after a Labor Day weekend shooting reminded her that gang violence is a public health issue. On Sept. 2, 2012, the brother on a previous homicide victim opened fire in a backyard on the 9100 block of South Chappel, injuring four people. It is believed that he did this in retaliation for his brother’s slaying. Among the injured included an 11-year-old girl and a 51-year-old woman. The same shooter, later on Sept. 28, is accused of killing the 17-year-old son of the woman who was injured in the Labor Day weekend shooting. On Oct. 19, 2012, the grandmother of the Sept. 28 homicide victim had a heart attack, resulting in her death. The next day, his father also suffered a fatal heart attack. The son, mother, father and grandmother were very close, with all of them residing in the same home. “Their deaths can absolutely be attributed to violence, the stress, the heartache, it all just had such an effect on them after these shootings that it killed them,” Hongo said.
Matthew Wettig is a junior at Lane Tech High School. 11
a parenting environment By Wesley Bogard Harlan Community Academy
t seems that whenever the topic of youth violence is brought up more problems are mentioned than remedies. In 2012, it is time to start evaluating violence from another perspective, looking at violence as a public health issue. New plans of action must be initiated and new voices must be heard; the voices of teens and the people affected by the situations. The problems have been on the table for years. Now it’s time to present the treatment and remedies. Diane Latiker, founder of Kids Off the Block in Roseland, has been an advocate for change since she began her program in July 2003. Latiker believes the key to change is unification and organization in communities like Roseland and other troubled neighborhoods across Chicago. As a leader and advocate for
change, Latiker realizes that the new strategies must include community members sharing the responsibility of looking out for teens in their neighborhood. “What is the community for,” asked Latiker? “To pick up that kid that isn’t being parented.” Community involvement in treating and preventing the disease of youth violence is a public health issue. “I wouldn’t call violence anything but a public health issue,’’ Latiker said. “When are we going to come out of our homes, churches and say ‘enough is enough’? When are all of us going to raise our children as a community?” Latiker knows the impact of violence because of the stress it brings, the type of stress that pulls teens closer to drug usage, gangbanging and other negative behavior impacting home and school. “When you have to worry about how you’re
going to eat or whether you’ll get shot or jumped it’s hard to focus on things like school and homework.” Teenagers are the people most affected by the violence. Census data from the Chicago Public Health Department shows that 15- to 24-year-olds represented 46 percent of the city’s homicide victims in 2012. However, the voices of this age group are heard the least. Orin Garrett, 18, one of three seniors from Harlan Community Academy High School interviewed, said, “Violence gave me a Man versus Wild mentality, it gave me a distrust for the people around me.’’ When a person witnesses violence at a young age it can affect them their entire life, said Jordan Buyck, 18. He agrees with research that shows teaching young children non-violent ways is the key to combatting violence. Chicago
Most homicides in Chicago are committed by individuals under the age of 25. Source: Chicago Police Department
Chicago Crime Map There have been nearly 28,000 incidents of violent crime committed in Chicago during the past year. More than 42 percent of those crimes have occurred in the 11 heavily shaded communities on the map. The violent crime rate in those South and West Side communities is more than three times higher than the rate for the rest of the city. Source: Chicago Police Department
psychiatrist Carl Bell also lists this as one of his seven keys to improving communities along with parenting skills and negotiating skills. Like the public health experts, Travon Baker, 18, thinks increasing job opportunities, improving education, and stable support systems are the keys to preventing youth violence. The teen voice is becoming a valuable intervention tool in treating violence. In addition to senseless deaths and unnecessary trauma, public health officials say violence has an even larger impact on the overall health of the community and its socioeconomic standing. Chicagoâ€™s 20 most violent communities suffer from higher rates of breast cancer, kidney disease and prostate cancer, the cityâ€™s Public Health Department reported. These same neighborhoods suffer from higher poverty and unemployment rates than other Chicago communities. There have been many plans on how to treat violent crime in Chicago. Nearly all agree that gang vio-
lence is an issue that must first be addressed internally--in the home. Solving the problem internally would mean counseling the teens in our communities, improving the home environment of children and increasing knowledge of the issues that affect youth the most. The illness that is violence can only
be solved with the best diagnosis, treatment and prevention methods. A blending of new methods with old and treatments that inoculate young people of the community against violence.
Wesley Bogard is a senior at Harlan Community Academy.
Efforts to stem violence in Chicago must focus on teenagers and young adults. The pie chart shows that individuals under the age of 17 are the ones most often arrested for violent crime in the city. And nearly two out of every three arrests for violent crimes in Chicago were arrests of individuals under the age of 25. Source: Chicago Police Department 13
The remedies, in their own words Parenting: We don’t need parents showing up at the hospital, we need them before they [teens] pick up the gun. —Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy
You may not know what they are doing, but know what your child is capable of doing. —Tony Sculfield, WGCI radio personality
Intervention/prevention: It was very hard to start [CeaseFire] because young people don’t trust. They have been burned so many times. They have been burned by people in their family. They betrayed them, they went to prison on them,they died on them or they just gave up on them. We had to build trust in the community and help each other. —Bob Jackson, executive director, CeaseFire Roseland
Mentoring/after-school programs: If you want to stay in your community you have to speak up, and that is what I’m doing. —Diane Latiker, founder, Kids Off the Block
GED is not nearly as protective as a high school diploma. — Jens Ludwig, PhD, director, University of Chicago Crime Lab
Community activism: You don’t have to like them [neighbors], just know them. Block clubs are a deterrent to crime; even socializing helps. Criminals see you interacting and don’t want to bother with that block. —Sixth District Police Commander Eric Carter
Gun reduction: Guns make interpersonal violence more lethal. If you could trade fistfights and sticks for shootings, Chicago would be much better place. — Jens Ludwig, PhD, director, University of Chicago Crime Lab