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I’m interested in interactive maps and information to better understand youth delinquency.  I want to make better sense of what the convergence of factors are that contribute to youth crime.  By understanding this I hope to better understand youth delinquency in communities with a range of social and economic disadvantages.

I believe that the economic times in which we live threatens to heighten the disenfranchisement of young people, with raised delinquency levels being the ultimate result.  Can new technologies, primarily social media technologies help us grasp this better?

We don’t actually understand why crime happens.  We understand that a range of factors contribute to youth crime, we understand (variously) what happens in the commission of a crime and some the considerations involved in deciding where and how to commit a crime but we have little idea why youth commit crime.

I think that this is because we need to get smarter about how we uncover new evidence that is current, more reflective of the lives of young people, more spatial, more temporal, more reflective of the lives of young people.  I believe that the key is to reveal information about their lives over time.  This means we need to know what the sights and sounds of the streets in which they live look and feel like.  This blog is attempting to be a start.

I will discuss ideas, give you examples, create examples, and post current events.I’d like to do that in one place is an attempt to demonstrate that a lot of different kinds of information should contribute to solutions to social problems.  Including (almost most importantly) what people that live in those communities have to say.  And I will use youth delinquency as a subject example.

I am going to start with Chicago and Los Angeles.  I want to do this because while there is little information available in one place that demonstrates what I am seeking, there are more examples in these two cities then there are in any other.  I was actually going to start with 5 cities (and instead I’m going to work up to that).  The additional cities will be Toronto, London, and New York.  But the best place to start is Chicago and Los Angeles because they best demonstrate in different ways what I am talking about.  And of course because they have had extensive experience of dealing with the issue of youth crime and delinquency some prime examples of what I am talking about.

I’m going to try and separate in each blog when I’m giving you examples and when I’d giving you background or opinion (not the the examples aren’t laced with opinion) but I don’t want to confuse you by hiding examples in narrative about public policy in general.

So next blog will be some small examples I have found about the nature of Chicago’s youth delinquency.