Another Recycled Idea
Chicago police are expanding a high-school outreach program to prevent gang violence after the initial program appears to be making inroads, Police Superintendent Jody Weis said at a news conference on Sunday.
The program, which started March 8 in high schools in the police department's Area 1 -- roughly from 2200 to 8700 south and from Harlem Avenue east to Lake Michigan -- has resulted in students seeking to get tatoos removed and to leave their street gang, police said. Students are transferred to new schools when necessary.
Though it is difficult to measure prevention strategies, Weis said, the high schools in Area 1 had no students murdered in gang violence from March through June, compared with five murders in that same time period of 2009.
Okay, granted that any reduction in murders is usually a good thing, but five whole murders prevented? By the time March rolls around, gang recruitment season is over, most of the people who want to be in school are there and the others are gone, and the internal conflicts about who is going to sell what dope in which hallway has just about worked itself out.
We used to have a unit that actually went to schools, knew the players, could talk to the kids, was able to elicit decent information about on-going or emerging conflicts, was able to mentor and refer problems to social services, etc., etc. It was called "The School Unit."
Someone is reinventing the wheel.
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