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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Crime, Chicago, and Catholic Schools

This op-ed has a nice shout-out for recent and ongoing work, in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies and the U. of Chicago L. Rev., by Nicole Stelle Garnett and her co-author, Margaret Brinig, on the social-capital and neighborhood-health effects of Catholic schools (and Catholic-school closings).  A bit from the op-ed:

A series of research articles by University of Notre Dame Professors Margaret Brinig and Nicole Garnet have laid out the case.  In a paper summarizing their findings, "Catholic Schools, Urban Neighborhoods, and Education Reform" Brinig and Garnet used three decades of data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods to evaluate the effect of a Catholic school closure on its neighborhood.   They found -- even after controlling for other demographic variables that might predict decline --  that neighborhood social cohesion decreases and disorder increases in neighborhoods that have had a Catholic elementary  school close.  Last month an article about Brinig and Garnet's research, "Catholic Schools and Broken Windows," was published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.  This research demonstrated that during a time of overall decline in crime, Catholic school closures slowed the rate of decline of crime as compared to beats without a Catholic school closure. 

There remain many questions not answered by this research as to why inner-city Catholic schools might have this effect.  However, the authors conclude that "...Catholic school closures are strongly linked with increased disorder, reduced neighborhood social cohesion, and eventually, serious crime." . . .

Posted by Rick Garnett on September 5, 2012 at 03:01 PM in Rick Garnett | Permalink

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Comments

Very interesting article and data. I was raised in Chicago so it's especially relevant to me, but I suspect Chicago is representative of other urban areas too.

Posted by: Margaret Ryznar | Sep 7, 2012 2:11:16 AM

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