Delinquency Prevention in South Chicago

A Fifty-Year Assessment of the Chicago Area Project

by Steven L. Schlossman, Gail L. Zellman, Richard J. Shavelson, Michael W. Sedlak, Jane Cobb


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This report examines the Chicago Area Project (CAP) from a historical and a contemporary perspective. The analysis is divided into three parts. The first part describes the CAP's founding and analyzes the process through which it was established and the operation of its prevention programs. The second part examines the operation of the CAP program in South Chicago in 1980, in light of assumptions derived from the historical analysis of the salient features of CAP philosophy and practice. Focus is on the ways the CAP was implemented and the implications they may have had for its success, or lack of success, in preventing delinquency. In the third part, the authors combine census data, data on delinquency rates, and data on program participation and operations to develop a rudimentary quantitative method to enlarge upon and with which to make a preliminary validation of the earlier analysis. All of the data suggest that the CAP has been effective in organizing local communities and reducing juvenile delinquency.

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