Now for some good news. Chicago introduced an anti-violence program geared toward inmates who were convicted of violent crimes. While this does not sound like the kind of measure that would produce positive results, the data would indicate otherwise. According to the latest data, those who took part in the READI program were 67% less likely to be involved in a subsequent gun crime and 20% less likely to be the victim of gun violence.
What does the data say? Well, even as gun violence and crime rates spike throughout the city of Chicago, those who participated in the READI program showed dwindling rates. Those who attended the program had an average of 17 raps on their sheet and many of them had been the victims of gun violence before. Overall, 2500 men were selected for READI Chicago. When compared against a similar group of 2500 men who did not partake in the program, the crime rates were massively lower. The intensive 18-month program was targeted to at-risk males in the Chicago area. The names were drawn algorithmically but focused on those who had violent histories.
Why is This Program Succeeding?
The program consists of part psychotherapy, part job skills, and helps link participants to the services they need with an eye toward building a stable income over the long term. Ultimately, one of the primary sources of criminal activity is poverty and a lack of economic opportunities within communities. Those who have stable incomes are less likely to take dangerous risks, commit petty crimes, and place themselves in situations that are dangerous. Ultimately, most individuals who find themselves on the wrong end of a criminal prosecution want to be comfortable, safe, and happy. Their conduct leads them in the opposite direction.
According to the READI Chicago website, the program employs psychotherapy, notably cognitive-behavioral intervention to reduce the likelihood of a split-second decision that may result in a trigger being pulled. Managing emotions like anger can be pivotal in reducing violent altercations that can occur.
CBT was studied in conjunction with former child soldiers in Liberia. CBT showed success with those interventions. Employment remains a key determiner to the likelihood of future offenses when addressing violent crime in poorer neighborhoods.
As Violence Increases, Alternatives to Prisons Become Necessary
It is no secret that recidivism rates are higher among the formerly incarcerated. Reducing recidivism rates and creating opportunities in economically depressed areas gives individuals hope for the future. Ultimately, we all want to live the American Dream, but the pathway there is not the same for all of us. For some, that path is rife with barriers and traps. Helping folks along seems superior to robbing them of any future opportunities.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a serious crime in Chicago, the criminal defense attorney, David Freidberg, can help prevent you from being overcharged, get the charges tossed, or prevent conviction at trial. Call today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin discussing your defense immediately.