Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Steven Levitt, University of Chicago Economics Professor and author of Freakonomics, visited our center today to look in on the research his students are doing at Breakthrough. Freakonomics was on the NY Times best seller list for two years. All of our staff were meeting for Staff Development Day, so he came in and interacted with us for awhile. It was a real treat for our staff to be able to ask him questions. Much of Levitt's research is very relavant to what we do at Breakthrough, especially in the area of prostitution, drug trafficking and gangs. He said that in a study they conducted with gang members they found that 7% of them died over a three year period. He compared it to soldiers in Iraq who die at a rate of 1% over the same time period. Gang members are seven times more likely to die in the city than they would be serving in Iraq. There is a literal war going on in our neighborhoods with huge casualties.