The Future of Crime in Chicago and the Impact of Reducing the Prison Population on Crime Rates

By Richard Rosenfeld, James Austin
November 2023

This report examines the effects of a small set of factors on violent and property crime rates in Chicago. The authors find that a statistical model based on the Illinois imprisonment rate and a measure of the cost of living explained past variation in crime rates with minimal error.  The authors then used the model to forecast crime rates through 2025. Both violent and property crime are forecast to drop through 2025. In addition, the report finds that were Illinois to reduce its imprisonment rate by 25%, the effect on Chicago’s rate of violent crime would be negligible. No association was found between imprisonment rates and property crime. 

Read the full report [PDF] here.

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