Mediation Credited for Drop-in Chicago’s Homicide Rate in 2019
Tuesday, January, 28, 2020
A mediation program that allows gang members to work out their differences with supervision from a mediator is being credited with helping to reduce Chicago’s homicide rate last year.
According to city law enforcement officials, Chicago ended 2019 with a drop in the number of homicides for the third consecutive year. The data shows that there were fewer than 500 homicides in the city during the year, which is the first time the number has been that low since 2015. The number is a 13 percent decrease from 2018 when there were 565 homicides.
According to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the drop indicates the amount of progress that has been made in the city. But Lightfoot points out there is still much work to be done. She explained, “We abandoned the law enforcement first and the only strategy and really focused on aligning city departments in the fight for public safety, but also embracing our partners in the community I think all those things working together.”
The drop in homicides occurred across the city, even in areas that are typically associated with high levels of crime. Police believe new technology used to predict where shootings might occur, as well as the anti-violence programs and the gang conflict mediation programs, are the reason why.
Said Lightfoot, “We have a 700-percent increase in community interrupters, people who are on the ground…going door to door but also our investments in mental health and all of those things together are part of the same ecosystem.”