Chicago Magazine recently looked to the director of an Adler University center for insight about what feeds Chicago’s cycle of violence and poverty.
Dan Cooper, Ph.D., and his co-author, Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, were featured in the magazine on the heels of releasing their new book, The War on Neighborhoods: Policing, Prison, and Punishment in a Divided City. Cooper is the executive director of Adler University’s Center for Equitable Cities, which seeks to reduce longstanding and intersecting forms of inequality throughout Chicago through policy, research, advocacy, and more.
Among other things, Lugalia-Hollon discussed with reporters the link between incarceration and violence – specifically, that in neighborhoods such as Austin on the city’s West Side. “Incarceration rates on Chicago’s West Side are ten times that of Russia, which is one of the top jailers on earth,” he said, in the article. “We’ve talked to people from Austin where 60 to 70 percent of everyone they knew from the neighborhood had a felony conviction. When we label thousands of residents in a neighborhood ‘criminals,’ we no longer have to be concerned about the lack of living wage jobs in their community. We can close their schools, we can close their mental health clinics and we cannot give it a second thought because that’s where criminals live. And that’s what concentrated punishment does.”
Read the full feature, “Q&A: The High Costs of Incarceration in a Divided City,” on the Chicago Magazine website.