Crime Lab Chicago Sports Alliance
In 2017, the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox joined together for the first time to lend their reach and resources in support of data-driven solutions to decrease gun violence in the city. Working collectively as the Chicago Sports Alliance, $4 million in grants have since been invested in innovative solutions informed by the research and analysis of the University of Chicago Crime Lab; an additional $1.5 million in matching grants from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation has also been provided, for a total of $5.5 million in funding. Grants have supported Choose to Change, Little Village Prevention and Intervention Initiative, READI Chicago, the University of Chicago Crime Lab and analyst training by the Crime Lab for the Chicago Police Department’s Strategic Decision Support Centers. Teams have also individually supported the grant recipients through tickets, practice visits, giveaways, player meet-and-greets and more. With the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the teams have joined together each year to collectively celebrate the grant recipients.
Choose to Change: Choose to Change is an innovative youth violence prevention program jointly delivered by Children’s Home & Aid and Youth Advocate Programs and rigorously evaluated by the University of Chicago Crime Lab. The program works in Chicago neighborhoods with high rates of gun violence and has served more than 600 youth to date who are at high risk of being victims or perpetrators of violence. To learn more, please visit https://urbanlabs.uchicago.edu/projects/choose-to-change.
Little Village Prevention and Intervention Initiative: The Little Village Prevention and Intervention Initiative aims to deliver an intensive program combining street outreach, trauma-informed mental health services, educational supports, and sports programming to the youth and adults most impacted by gun violence through two community-based organizations in the neighborhood: Enlace and New Life Centers. To learn more, please visit www.newlifecenters.org or https://www.enlacechicago.org/.
READI Chicago: READI Chicago is a gun violence reduction initiative that engages those at the highest risk of being shot or shooting someone else and has given hundreds of men the opportunity to participate in 18-months of focused transitional job training and cognitive behavioral therapy. With sites serving five Chicago communities, READI Chicago is the first program of its scope, scale and participant population ever to be implemented. To learn more, please visit https://www.heartlandalliance.org/readi/.
Analyst Training for Strategic Decision Support Centers: The Strategic Decision Support Centers are rooms in which a suite of technology, district leadership, and civilian analysts work together to develop localized crime reduction strategies using data analysis, human intelligence, and input from the community. These efforts are tailored to meet the unique needs of each community, with community concerns incorporated into the district’s daily planning process. Through the SDSC initiative, Chicago Police Department districts have also expanded their proactive community engagement efforts, with officers from the district routinely attending local block parties, community meetings, and youth sporting events. The Crime Lab's evaluation of the SDSC's impact on gun violence finds strongly suggestive evidence that the introduction of the SDSC in District 007 (Englewood) caused a significant reduction in that district's shootings, without a significant increase in arrests. Continued evaluation work is focused on understanding the reasons behind those results to better guide CPD and other police departments considering making similar changes to the way they carry out policing.