In an editorial, the New York Times praises a Chicago initiative to address the violence that has killed and maimed hundreds of young people and turned the city’s poorest neighborhoods into precincts of terror and despair. The plan will offer mentoring, counseling and jobs to high-risk students. An analysis of past victims suggests that nearly 10,000 of the city's 113,000 high school students are at risk of becoming victims of gun violence and need help.
The Times says, “Their lives follow a clear pattern. They are absent from school more than 40 percent of the time, on average. They have fallen behind and are more likely to be enrolled in special education. And they generally attend 38 of the city's nearly 140 public high schools…The plan, which will be started with federal stimulus money, will cost $60 million for the first two years. But it will more than pay for itself if it reduces the number of shootings and deaths and puts more young people on the road to productive lives instead of the road to prison. It deserves full and enthusiastic support from the city, community groups and from the business community, which could play an essential role by providing the young participants with jobs.”