Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video The future of the CRED program, part of Arne Duncan Interview: Education and Reducing Violence.
- We've had a waiting list for every single cohort. One of our groups on the south side has a waiting list of about 186 guys looking for help. And, if we want to scale, if we want to really reduce violence, we can't just work with 20 or 30 at a time. And we can't say, "Okay, we'll just start another cohort next year." because guys are looking to get out of the life now. And if we're not reaching them, again, they're at risk of shooting or being shot. And so, as we scale going forward, we're gonna start to do a lot more street outreach. We're gonna try and touch a lot more guys in neighborhoods, start to hold ourselves accountable for can we start to reduce violence, not just at the individual level, but at the community level.
We'll definitely keep some elements of the cohort model, and keep some elements of the brotherhood, but in my mind, it's a little bit more of a rolling admissions. As we touch guys, we bring them in and we can do different things a little bit more modular, rather than having every guy do the same thing all together, all day every day. Some guys might need to just focus on education, or on substance abuse, or whatever it might be. And we can be a little bit more individualized in our planning and our thinking going forward. Great strengths of the cohort model was exactly the right way to start, so many important learnings for us.
But, as we grow and start to talk about neighborhood and it ultimately city wide violence reduction, we need to keep the best elements of that, but be able to scale a little faster and touch guys on a more real time, ongoing basis. I think it's far too early to talk about taking this to other cities. We need a couple years here. And, we'll find out. Numbers will tell us whether we're successful or not. And, I think there are huge lessons that would be applicable to other cities.
I'm not prepared to start telling them or sharing them. I'm just so focused on doing the work here. But, Chicago has been so much worse than other cities. We know Chicago's the third largest city, way more shootings, way more homicides than New York and LA combined. That makes no sense what so ever. 15 neighborhoods are producing 75, 80 percent of our violence, vast majority of those shooting, being shot are young AA men, 17 to 24. If over the next couple of years we can prove we can dramatically reduce those numbers, then yes.
I think there are obviously many other cities struggling with these issues, and we could tell that story, and continue to learn. And we've learned through some great work in LA. We've learned through some great work in Boston. And, we're all in this together, but it's for me, far too early to start telling some story. We gotta do the work.