Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Fighting gangs or aiding gentrification?" -Chicago Reader

In today's issue of the Chicago Reader Mick Dumke and Kevin Warwick's cover page article "Criminal Courts?"  they report on the recent removal of basketball hoops from Chicago parks.  One example of this happening was right here in Uptown at Broncho Billy Playlot on Magnolia near Montrose.

Our new Alderman, James Cappleman wrote in  his ward news letter on June 17th, "On advice from the police, in agreement with the Parks Department, the basketball hoops at the Broncho Billy Park located at 4437 N. Magnolia Ave. have been removed."  

There is some controversy around the removal of the hoops with no input from the community or residents  and according to the Reader article it is unclear where the advice came from within the police department

"Lieutenant Stasch, leader of the district's tactical operations unit, said there weren't many problems at Broncho Billy Playlot: ""The calls we get about that park are very minimal." Stasch said he understood some neighbors had been concerned about older kids hanging out there, but "personally, I'm in favor of giving young people something to do."

Alderman Cappleman who is most fond of using the term "evidenced based best practices" had this to say about the hoops, "If you can show me research showing a benefit from basketball in an unsupervised setting where gang recruitment is going on, I'll reconsider." 

No statistical link between basketball rims and crime around Uptown park 

 by Mick Dumke

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