More Evidence Summer Jobs Cut Youth Violence


At-risk youth who participated in a Chicago summer program that combined a part-time summer job with cognitive behavioral therapy-based programming experienced a 51 percent drop in arrests for violent crime, according to a new study released from the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

The study followed more than 700 youth ages 14-21 who were selected to participate in One Summer Plus (OSP) in 2012. OSP provides youth from neighborhoods with elevated rates of violent crime with employment opportunities, mentoring and therapy.

Although participants attended less summer school as a result of the program, they “showed an enormous proportional drop in violent-crime arrests after 7 post-program months (3.7 fewer arrests per 100 participants, a 51 percent decline).”

The findings of the Chicago study mirrors a recent study of the effects of summer employment on Boston youth.

Editor's Note: To read coverage of the Boston study that found a drop in violence among teens who acquired summer jobs, click HERE.

Researchers in Chicago noted that while it's too early to perform a cost-benefit analysis, if the results persist, the benefits of the program may outweigh the costs, based on a reduction in violence.

To read the executive summary click HERE.

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