Bloomberg News: Shootings cost Chicago $2.5 billion a year, or about $2,500 per household, according to Jens Ludwig, director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab.
Many of those costs are intangibles, Ludwig said, like keeping people from going outside or letting their children walk to school. Reducing even a fraction of the carnage, though, would free up more money than the city expects to save each year from the closing of 49 elementary schools approved yesterday by the school board.
Just so we can appreciate what “the violence in Chicago” means — because it’s really, really easy to not do that, even if (and maybe especially if) you live in Chicago — please take two hours and watch The Interrupters. This is a group of former gang members who “interrupt” violence as it happens, and who try to work with people one-on-one and in groups to take control of how they respond to violence.
This will change your life to watch. I’m not even kidding. You will ugly cry. You will have your heart broken. And you will understand — just a little — what it means to confront this thing from the inside.
If you want two more hours of stunning reporting about kids dealing with violence and death on Chicago’s South Side, listen to the This American Life two-parter on Harper High School [one, two]. (Both these pieces have in common Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here and many other works about kids, violence and poverty in Chicago.)
Please. Please take the time to do this.
The job application involves recording two scripts so we can assess your skills. Bring it. — tanya b.
…I kind of want to do this. (Even if I don’t do this, I might record the scripts and upload them somewhere. It could be fun!)