Some Urge Public Health Approach To Chicago Youth Violence


Experts say a holistic approach may be the only answer to Chicago’s enduring problem of youth violence, reports the city’s Tribune. The paper says a host of police strategies and anti-violence programs have failed.

Youth violence acts like a disease, and researchers and experts say the cure lies not in this haphazard treatment of the symptoms but in addressing the causes with targeted, scientific methods.

They say youth violence should be viewed as a public health issue and treated like other diseases, like tuberculosis or even smoking. “Despite all the money and all the pilot programs that have been started, we are floundering around,” said Jens Ludwig, a criminologist and head of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, which is evaluating anti-violence programs. “We should do more of what they do in medicine.”

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