In an analysis conducted for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Dr. Claudia Coulton’s “Research shows link between joblessness and youth violence” as as part of the Pathways to Peace series on June 9.
Idle youth are defined as those aged 16 t0 19 who are not currently enrolled in school or employed. Dr. Coulton, co-director of the Poverty Center, compared the youth idleness rate with data on youth violence housed in the Center’s NEO CANDO system and found a correlation in many Cleveland neighborhoods and suburbs in Cuyahoga County.
“These things are statistically related,” Coulton said but pointed out the correlation is not equivalent to a conclusion that youth idleness causing youth violence. “This doesn’t mean that all the idle youth are also violent. What it tells us is that communities in which there are a lot of idle youth are also those in which there are a lot of youth violence incidences.
“It doesn’t tell the police to go and arrest the idle youth,” she added. “It just says these are communities where some help is needed in order to address both the youth idleness problem and the youth violence problem.”
“The neighborhoods with high youth violence and idleness could be helped by programs such as summer youth employment and other efforts that keep youth in school and help them to succeed in employment.”
Claudia Coulton and the analysis are also discussed in “More jobs, less youth violence, data and experts say” and “Voices on Fighting Joblessness and Youth Violence” in the Plain Dealer‘s Pathways to Peace series.