We are committed to having meaningful impact in communities in which we work; generating evidence about what works is central to our mission.
The Institute for Nonviolence Chicago has partnered with the University of Chicago Crime Lab, along with sociologists Andy Papachristos and David Hureau, to conduct a preliminary assessment of our data collection practice to prepare for a more substantial, rigorous program evaluation.
The Crime Lab will partner with Nonviolence Chicago for the duration of this preliminary assessment, 8-12 months. This feasibility study will include regular interviews with Institute staff, with the intention of learning as much as possible about processes and practices. The Crime Lab will also continue to provide technical assistance for developing best practices related to data protocols and collection. Information collected from this study will inform the growth and improvement of our work. This work will be carried out by the following research team:
Andrew V. Papachristos is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Yale University, a faculty fellow at the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE), and a faculty affiliate at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS) at Yale University. His research focuses on social networks, neighborhoods, street gangs, and interpersonal violence. Most recently, Papachristos was awarded an NSF Early CAREER award to examine how violence spreads through high-risk social networks in four cities. He is also currently involved in the evaluation and implementation of several violence reduction strategies, most notably the Project Safe Neighborhoods and the Group Violence Reduction Strategy in Chicago. He received his Ph.D from the University of Chicago.
David Hureau is a faculty member of the School of Criminal Justice at University at Albany, State University of New York. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Sociology and Social Policy in 2016, his M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2006, and his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2001. David is broadly interested in the relationship between crime, punishment, and social inequality, with a particular research interest in understanding the nature of violent crime and its consequences. Recent research projects include an ethnography of a network of young men disproportionately exposed to homicide, a mixed methods investigation of the market for illegal guns, and a policy evaluation of a major gang violence intervention effort.
University of Chicago Crime Lab Founded in 2008, the Crime Lab is empirical rather than ideological about what approaches should be taken to reduce crime. Crime Lab projects study ways to make the criminal justice system more effective and fair, and use tools from social policy, education and behavioral economics to prevent crime from happening in the first place and steer people in more pro-social directions that will improve their lives. We also combine data from randomized experiments with machine learning – a “big data” technique from computer science – to help better understand who benefits most from policy interventions and why, as a way to improve targeting and ensure successful scale-up.
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