Crime Lab New York partners with civic and community leaders in New York City to design, test, and scale promising programs and policies to reduce crime and violence.
Around the globe, roughly 500,000 people are murdered every year. Millions more are the victims of other crimes. Crime, particularly violent crime, is very regressive in its impact, often concentrated in society’s most economically marginalized and racially segregated communities. Reducing crime and the social harms associated with the criminal justice system is critical to the long-term vitality and economic health of all of our cities.
Unfortunately, long-term progress on reducing violent crime has been slow. Although the U.S. has dramatically reduced mortality rates from almost every other leading cause of death, homicide rates in America today are about the same as they were in 1950. One reason for this lack of long-term progress is that our policy approaches to reducing violence have been largely divorced from the profound benefits of systematic, scientific inquiry.
There is no shortage of innovation in this field, but there is a striking lack of evidence about what actually works, for whom, and why. Using randomized controlled trials, insights from behavioral economics, and predictive analytics that leverage the robust administrative data that cities already collect, Crime Lab New York partners with policymakers and practitioners to generate evidence about the strategies that reduce violence and do the most social good per dollar spent—including strategies that seek to prevent crime from happening in the first place, to make the criminal justice system more effective and fair, and to help policymakers better understand who benefits most from interventions and why. With this body of evidence, Crime Lab New York aims to help New York City design promising interventions and make investments that are cost-effective, targeted and scalable, to reduce crime and keep our most vulnerable communities safe.
Crime Lab New York is studying the Manhattan District Attorney’s efforts to encourage youth participation in sports and tutoring as an alternative to getting into trouble during high-risk times of the week
Crime Lab New York, ideas42, and New York City are using insights from behavioral economics to improve court attendance and reduce bench warrants
Crime Lab New York staff partner with civic and community leaders to generate evidence on what works to reduce crime and violence and improve educational outcomes for at-risk youth.
Smithsonian Magazine / December 1, 2016