Do More Jobs = Less Crime? Bostonians Disagree

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Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino issued this warning after a recent “crime summit:” Without an increase in summer jobs, the city could face an increase in youth crime. But the Boston Globe reports that criminologists and economists, including those who have studied Boston crime and teen employment, say there is little direct evidence linking summer jobs to decreases in crimes.

“I’ve always been very reluctant to make connections between crime and summer jobs because the evidence is not huge,” said Andrew Sum of Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies. Menino’s retort: “Statistics lie. Sometimes you don’t need them…What do criminologists know?They read books. I study it every day by talking to people.”

Of the 7,000 summer jobs that officials hope to provide this year, only about 65 are expected to be filled by candidates identified by the Boston Police Department as at-risk youth. The Boston Private Industry Council, which works in partnership with the city to find jobs for youth, said they they will employ 255 additional youths who are court-involved.


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