Jens Ludwig, the director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, said the spiral of poverty and gun violence must be reversed in Chicago. He added that the spiral could be reversed by taking necessary measures. Poverty and gun violence are related to each other and they leave worse effects on each other.
Ludwig shared his opinion via a speech at the City Club of Chicago. The topic of his speech was “Crime and Poverty in Chicago.” According to Ludwig, the gun violence in Chicago was mostly produced by racial and economic disparities. The murder rate in Chicago is higher than the rate in Los Angeles, according to research.
Ludwig brought the attention of the listeners towards some important facts. Lincoln Park saw a murder rate drop from 24/100000 in the mid-80s to 4/100000 at the present time. He added that Garfield Park saw a murder rate increase from 46/100000 in the mid-80s to 100/100000 at the present time. However, the overall murder rate in Chicago declined since 2016.
Ludwig said, “Poverty is an incredibly important driver for the crime.” Gun violence makes the neighborhoods hollowed-out as people move out due to it. Gun crimes increase in this situation. A study proved that gun crimes reduced by 29% when the vacant lots were converted into parks in Philadelphia. Ludwig said that 4 out of 5 murders in Chicago take place in public places. He said that it was a dangerous environment in Chicago.
Ludwig added that building parks in vacant lots were not the only solution for reducing gun violence. There are several other areas that are needed to be focused by the administration, he added. Ludwig also focused on the role of education in reducing gun violence. According to a study, 83% of the white man Chicagoans graduate while only 63% of the black Chicagoans graduate. He added that education was the best solution for keeping kids out of the criminal justice system. A safe neighborhood is required for encouraging people to move in.