Becoming A Man

The programme described in this video has just been evaluated by the University of Chicago in an RCT and has shown very positive results, particularly in reducing violent crime and increasing school performance and engagement.

One of the things you’ll notice is just how intensive it is:

The in-school program offered youth the chance to participate in up to 27 one-hour small-group sessions (about 15 youth were assigned to each group, with 8.58 attendees per session on average). Sessions met once per week during the school day over eight months of the school year. Each session, built around an explicitly articulated lesson, was designed to develop a specific skill and included an out-of-class homework assignment to practice and apply that skill.

As a result the cost per participant is high, they say over $1,000, but because the reductions in crime are so high the cost benefit ratios are still positive.

Looking at the video I’m reminded at the significant differences in crime cultures between the UK and US, particularly around gun crime.  This suggests to me that any adaptation of this sort of programme would need to take account of the cultural variations and to think carefully about the costs.

Nevertheless, it seemed like worth sharing given our interest in working with young people in prison and in continuing to engage young people in education.


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