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Harold Pollack, Co-Director. Founded in 2008 to partner with Chicago and other jurisdictions to carry out randomized experiments to learn more about.

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Presentation on theme: "Harold Pollack, Co-Director. Founded in 2008 to partner with Chicago and other jurisdictions to carry out randomized experiments to learn more about."— Presentation transcript:

1 Harold Pollack, Co-Director

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3 Founded in 2008 to partner with Chicago and other jurisdictions to carry out randomized experiments to learn more about how to reduce crime & related social problems Goal is to create evolving portfolio of experiments to learn more about mechanisms & most cost-effective interventions Nearly 30 affiliate researchers at top tier universities from around the United States Dozens of projects in partnership with government agencies and non-profits across the country Design/evaluate programs that can be feasibly and economically implemented at-scale to address crime-related problems. The University of Chicago Crime Lab

4 “Successful innovation requires learning from experience” Crime Lab seeks to provide scientific evidence about what works and what is cost-effective in preventing crime and violence An established network of over 25 of the nation’s leading crime policy researchers and academics to collaborate on a variety of projects Provides pro bono technical assistance and rigorous evaluations of crime reduction strategies to policing and other governmental agencies nationwide Dissemination of relevant findings to ensure best practices are implemented to generate the most social good of every dollar spent Benefit-Cost Analysis of interventions to provide a framework for comparison of the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of various programs and policies Progress in addressing the problem of crime and violence is extremely difficult without learning from experience – about what programs work, for whom, why, and how they can be improved The University of Chicago Crime Lab

5 The challenge: How can we improve life outcomes for disadvantaged youth? High school graduation rate in 50 largest urban school districts just 50% (Swanson, 2009) 70% of black male high school dropouts will spend time in prison by mid-30s (Western and Pettit, 2010) Homicide leading cause of death for blacks (more than 9 other leading causes of death combined) – Nearly 600 CPS students were shot September 2008-April 2010

6 Disproportionate Effect on Youth Crime is disproportionately affecting youth, both in terms of crimes committed and as victims of violent crimes

7 There has been dramatic progress in reducing mortality from other major leading causes, but not homicide It’s no coincidence that the fields experiencing such dramatic progress recognize the importance of scientific evidence in decision-making Until we understand what strategies are effective and cost effective in reducing crime, little progress will continue to be made Limited Progress

8 University of Chicago Crime Lab: Goals Improve violence prevention efforts by providing clear scientific results to help prevent youth gun violence Partner with government agencies and community groups in Chicago and around the U.S. to evaluate promising intervention strategies Allocate scare resources to the most cost-effective policies and programs

9 Next Steps Our goals are similar to the MIT Poverty Action Lab, a leader in utilizing experiments to improve life in developing countries We are currently working towards maintaining a portfolio of projects, many of which are in the development and fundraising stages These projects focus on: Helping youth deal more safely and productively with others. Promoting school attendance/preventing truancy The effect that increased policing has on crime Mental health and substance abuse treatment for disadvantaged families

10 The University of Chicago Crime Lab “Successful innovation requires learning from experience” The University of Chicago Crime Lab seeks to provide scientific evidence about what works and what is cost-effective in preventing crime and violence – An established network of over 25 of the nation’s leading crime policy researchers and academics to collaborate on a variety of projects – Provides pro bono technical assistance and rigorous evaluations of crime reduction strategies to policing and other governmental agencies nationwide – Dissemination of relevant findings to ensure best practices are implemented to generate the most social good of every dollar spent – Benefit-Cost Analysis of interventions to provide a framework for comparison of the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of various programs and policies Progress in addressing the problem of crime and violence is extremely difficult without learning from experience – about what programs work, for whom, why, and how they can be improved


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