On May 10, 2006, Tracey Meares closed out our "Chicago's Best Ideas" season with a talk entitled "Attention Felons: Reducing Gun Crime in Chicago." The talk focused on an initiative started by Tracey and others to reduce the incidence of gun ownership by convicted felons by increasing their awareness that such ownership was illegal. The dramatic results of the program are explained in the podcast. You will likely want to follow along with the powerpoint presentation to see the data to which she refers.
Podcasting (as well as blogging) will be somewhat lighter over the summer, but we're looking forward to bringing you some very interesting archival items. Watch this space!
In 2002 gun crime was a serious problem in Chicago. There were 648 homicides that year -- most of them resulting from guns. To address the problem, a multiagency task force turned to Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Department of Justice initiative targeting felons with firearms. The idea behind Project Safe Nieghborhoods was simple: send felons to serve long sentences in federal prisons far from home if they are caught with guns or ammunition. Our research evaluates this strategy along with two other PSN initiatives: (1) supply-side firearm policing activities, and (2) social marketing of deterrence and social norms messages through justice-style offender notification meetings.