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“An Exploration of Community Violence in Chicago and its Impact on Youth”

Author: David Marroquin

Department: UIC Institute for Policy & Civic Engagement

Advisor: Dr. Joseph K. Hoereth, IPCE

Abstract: “The consequences of youths’ exposure to violence, as victims or witnesses, extend far beyond physical injury and have the potential for deep and lasting impacts on their well-being throughout their entire lives” (Mercy & Vivolo-Kantor, 2016).The purpose of this research is to highlight factors that contribute to community violence in Chicago neighborhoods, understand its impact, and to explore potential solutions that can be implemented for these communities. Specifically, this research will focus on the 5 neighborhoods that experience a disproportionate rate of homicides that has been highlighted by the city of Chicago in the Our City Our Safety plan.“Our City, Our Safety”lays out a comprehensive plan for the City of Chicago's violence reduction work through 2023 under mayor Lori Lightfoot's plan. The data collected primarily focuses on poverty and mental health. Moreover, the methodology consisted of literature reviews of the last decade, information gathered from Chicago Metropolitan Agency Planning (CMAP) and the Chicago Data Portal. The evidence illustrates that community violence is a complex and multifarious issue, and that different communities experience different needs. Consequently, no single approach or policy is efficient to ameliorate this dilemma. Therefore, through the guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) and through the inclusion of a conceptual typology for population-specific program to reduce and prevent youth violence, an anti-violence plan that is multifaceted, collaborative, and evidence-based can be formulated to meet the needs of distinct neighborhoods to significantly reduce community violence.

Keywords: Youth violence, community violence, Poverty, Chicago, CDC, violence prevention