Crime Lab, Poverty Lab Penn Study: Summer Jobs Seem to Lower Teens' Violent Crime Rate
Philadelphia Inquirer / December 5, 2014
By Tom Avril
A summer jobs program for teenagers appears to cut the rate of violent crime, according to a new study by a University of Pennsylvania researcher.
And not because the youths were too busy working to break the law. Those who were randomly chosen to get the eight-week positions were arrested for violent offenses 43 percent fewer times than their peers, and most of that difference occurred during the 13 months after the jobs were finished.
The findings by Sara B. Heller, an assistant professor of criminology at Penn, are reported in Friday's issue of the journal Science. Teens in the study were generally from lower-income families, and one-fifth of them had previously been arrested.