Wirkungsnachweis aus der Literatur

Mittelfristig (1 bis 5 Jahre)
Makro (Gesellschaft)

overall savings for society and government through crime reduction


First, the reduction in the number of crimes is an economically meaningful impact—particularly for violent and property crimes that are costly to both individuals and society. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the Boston SYEP’s benefits may already outweigh the costs. The cost of administering the program for the City of Boston was about $2,000 per participant on average, which includes just over $1,400 in wages. From a societal perspective, the wage cost is simply a transfer from the government to the youth and so is not generally counted as a net change in overall resources, leaving an administrative program cost of $600 per youth. Applying estimates of the social costs of crime (tangible losses plus quality of life) from Miller, Cohen, and Wiersema (1996) to each arraignment indicates that the estimated cost savings from the reduction in criminal activity is $1,793 for violent crimes and $135 for property crimes for a combined total cost savings of $1,928 per youth (see Table A16). This benefit to victims clearly outweighs the program costs of $600 per participant—not to mention the cost to the criminal justice system of arresting, trying, and potentially incarcerating the offender as well as the opportunity costs of lower economic productivity for both individuals and their communities arising from lower levels of education and employment associated with time spent in youth detention.

Beschreibung der Aktivität

summer youth employment programs (SYEPs) in Boston
Introduced in the early 1980s, the Boston SYEP currently relies on approximately $10 million in city, state, and private funding to connect roughly 10,000 youth each summer with about 900 local employers. Participants work a maximum of 25 hours per week for a six-week period from early July through mid-August and are paid the Massachusetts minimum wage. Youth may be placed in either a subsidized position (e.g., with a local nonprofit, community-based organization, or city agency) or a job with a private-sector employer where the employer pays the youth directly. In addition, the Boston SYEP provides 20 hours of job-readiness training using a hands-on, competency-based work-readiness curriculum. Modules include evaluating learning strengths, skills, and interests; developing soft skills such as communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution; and learning how to search for a job, draft a resume and cover letter, complete an online application, and answer typical interview questions.
6 weeks
administrative data treatment group: 1 186 youth survey treatment group: 663
14 to 24 years
teilnehmende Kinder und Jugendliche

Evaluierung der Aktivität

Using an embedded randomized controlled trial (RCT). […] This analysis is restricted to youth who applied to the program for summer 2015 through Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), a large and established nonprofit that works in all of Boston’s 18 neighborhoods. [...] ABCD uses a computerized system with a simple random-assignment algorithm to select youth based on their applicant ID numbers and the number of available slots determined by the amount of funding each year. This system effectively assigns the offer to participate in the program at random, creating a control group of youth who apply to the SYEP but are not chosen. Of the 4,235 youth who applied to ABCD in 2015, a total of 1,186 (or 28 percent) were offered a job via simple random assignment, leaving 3,049 individuals in the control group. [...] The first phase of the analysis uses administrative data on court arraignments that capture the 17 months following the intervention to assess SYEP impacts on medium-term criminal justice outcomes. The second phase of the analysis is more exploratory and uses survey data (pre-post) on selfreported behavioral changes in skills and attitudes that occur during the summer to provide insight into program mechanisms that may have enabled participating youth to avoid the criminal justice system.
1. Community engagement and social skills 2. Job readiness skills 3. Future work plans and academic aspirations
1: I have a lot to contribute to the groups I belong to; I feel connected to people in my neighborhood; I feel safe walking around my neighborhood; I have a positive role model in my life; I know how to manage my emotions and my temper; I know how to ask for help when I need it; I know how to constructively resolve a conflict with a peer; I need to improve my conflict resolution skills; 2: I have all key information to apply for a job; I have prepared a resume; I have prepared a cover letter; I have asked an adult to serve as a reference; I have reviewed at least one job application form; I have completed at least one online job application form; I have searched for jobs online; I have asked an adult for help in finding job opportunities; I have developed answers to the usual interview questions; I have practiced my interviewing skills with an adult; I need to improve my job readiness skills; 3: I plan to work in the fall; I plan to enroll in an eduation or training program after high school; I plan to enroll in a four-year college or university; I plan to enroll in a two-year college; I need to improve my academic skills
binary questions (e.g. job readiness skills) questions measured on a Likert scale (e.g. social skills, community engagement)
1. average cost of administering the program for the City of Boston 2. average administrative costs of program excluding wages 3. estimated cost savings from the reduction in criminal activity based on estimated social costs of crime (tangible losses plus quality of life) from Miller, Cohen, and Wiersema (1996)
1. about $2,000 per participant, including just over $1,400 in wages 2. $600 per youth. 3. $1,793 for violent crimes and $135 for property crimes for a combined total cost savings of $1,928 per youth
administrative data control group: 3 049 youth survey control group: 664 youth
application to program in the summer of 2015 17 months after participation in the SYEP program