Good Evidence on a Violence Prevention Program that Works!

Crime Prevention Ottawa’s Board member Dr. Irvin Waller often sends out emails about interesting things – this one particularly caught my eye.

So, I draw your attention to a great evaluation of a program in Chicago that works, here I am quoting Dr. Waller:

Mentoring and Social Skills training in schools show initial violence prevention success

A recent randomized clinical trial, the largest ever conducted with an urban youth population (nearly 2,500 adolescent boys in 18 schools in Chicago), carried out by the University of Chicago Crime Lab in partnership with Youth Guidance, World Sport Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools showed that an intervention called Becoming a Man-Sports Edition (“BAM”):

  • strengthened social-cognitive skills and generated massive declines in violent crimes by at-risk youth (over 40 percent) during the program year, though the impact faded the following year

    Picture from Medill Reports

  •  Increased the degree to which youth were engaged in school, as measured by school attendance and class credits earned, an impact that lasted through the program year and the year following


Return on investment exceeds three times the modest cost.



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