Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $2,197,178)
Chicago Public Schools (CPS)
Check and Redirect to Respect (CRR) Program
CPS is aware of the increasingly violent link between gangs and social media applications. Using social media, gangs can coordinate illicit activities and carry out threats leading to youth violence and unsafe schools. The district currently does not have the capacity to monitor these threats, instead relying on traditional methods of detection including observation and word of mouth referrals. Current research suggests a lack of policy knowledge and development related to social media and gangs.
In order to dismantle gangs, provide intervention opportunities to redirect problem behavior, and improve school climate, the district proposes the Check and Redirect to Respect (CRR) program. Using the PathAR software, CPS will track social media posts to identify influential students who may either take part in gang activities or may be at risk for joining gangs. The district will dispatch the Chicago Police Department's Gang School Safety Team (GSST) to perform interventions drawing upon the knowledge gained of the student through monitoring. After GSST interventions, the students will either receive group or individual interventions from their school's behavioral health team. At the conclusion of the services, participating students will be equipped with the life skills to resist gang activity and reengage with their school.
The CRR will take place at a total of 16 schools during Year 1, 20 schools in Year 2, and 24 schools in Year 3. The project will compare treatment schools receiving the CRR with control schools continuing to use traditional service models. The project will utilize the University of Chicago's Crime Lab, which will compare outcomes between school groupings and against baseline indicators. Armed with this knowledge, CPS will produce high quality research to identify strategies to reduce the influence of gangs and social media, establish best-practice intervention strategies, and better understand the process between initial interest in gang life and full participation. Through the CRR, CPS proposes to achieve the following outcomes: 1) decrease the incidence of high level infractions (Level 4-6 which also include violence related misconducts) by 10%, 2) decrease the incidence of out of school suspensions by 10%, 3) decrease the number of student expulsions by 10%, 4) increase the number of GSST interventions by 20%, 5) reduce student arrests by 5%, and 6) increase school climate ratings as measured by the My Voice, My School survey tool by 10%.