Violent crime in Chicago is at a nearly 30-year low, yet the city’s rate of violence is still staggering. In 2011, 433 people in Chicago were murdered—double to triple the murders per capita in peer cities like Los Angeles or New York City. Violence is particularly devastating for Chicago’s youth: in 2010, 1,109 school-aged youth were shot, and 216 of those were killed. Nearly half of Chicago’s homicide victims are young people between the ages of 10 and 25.
Chicago’s anti-violence effort is set apart by our truly multidisciplinary approach to ending youth violence. Last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle joined together to lead an unprecedented cross-agency, cross-sector effort to address violence in the Chicago region. The partnership includes 50 leaders from government, faith, community, business, media, foundation, and research. It is expanding to neighborhood leadership, with hundreds more involved from both government and communities.
There are many factors that lead to youth violence, and they must be addressed in different ways. Chicago’s initiatives seek to address as many of these factors as possible, using combinations of Prevention, Intervention, and Response (Enforcement and Re-Entry). While current violent offenders must be stopped, we will focus primarily on Prevention as a long-term strategy. The earlier we can prevent violence—including by building up young people’s families and communities—the more effective we will be.
FindYouthInfo.gov is the U.S. government Web site that helps you create, maintain, and strengthen effective youth programs. Included are youth facts, funding information, and tools to help you assess community assets, generate maps of local and federal resources, search for evidence-based youth programs, and keep up-to-date on the latest, youth-related news.