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Improving Hot-Spot Policing through Behavioral Interventions

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $760,230)

This project seeks to explore "System 2," automatic/reactionary, human thoughts and behavior as potential way to gain efficiency in hot spots policing (and perhaps throughout the criminal justice system). They seek to develop intervention strategies designed to make System 2 processing more likely and to develop strategies, understanding that System 1 is still inevitable, that more effectively communicate to offenders through channels which System 1 responds. A particular focus will be to change environmental cues for System 1 in high-crime "hot spots" to amortize the costs of "wholesale" interventions across all individuals that might offend within that area. To do this work, the awardee with work the New York Police Department, ideas42, and the University of Chicago Crime Lab. The specific goals are to: learn more about how criminal offenders think (learning how offenders System 1 thoughts are different from non-offenders and prior-offenders that have successfully desisted; design and test a behavior-economics based intervention strategy using a randomized controlled trial where 75 areas will receive additional patrol time to allow altercations to cool down, 75 areas will receive a vividness of punishment treatment (advertisements to display the vividness of the jail experience), and 75 control areas. These two goals will provide information into System 1 and System 2 responses and if offenders are different along with if behavioral economic interventions are able to affect these responses. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 12, 2013