Evaluation of CeaseFire, a Chicago-based Violence Prevention Program, 1991-2007



The CeaseFire Evaluation involved the collection of Time Series Data (Dataset 1) and Shooting Incident Data (Dataset 2) as well as the administration of Staff Surveys (Datasets 3-5), Collaborator Surveys (Datasets 6-11), and Client Surveys (Dataset 12). Time Series Data (Dataset 1): Crime data for the study were aggregated from a citywide database of 9.3 million incidents reported to Chicago police during the 192 months between January 1991 and December 2006. Using Chicago's detailed type of crime codes the researchers identified three incident types amenable to influence by the CeaseFire program: shootings, gun murders, and persons shot. Incidents were geocoded into a consistent set of police beat boundaries to account for the fact that beat definitions changed twice during the time period under consideration. The data are monthly counts of shootings and killings for CeaseFire's target police beats and matched sets of comparison beats. Shooting Incident Data (Dataset 2): All individual shooting incidents during two-year periods before and during the implementation of CeaseFire (February 1998 to April 2006) in the Auburn Gresham, Englewood, Logan Square, Rogers Park, Southwest, West Garfield Park, and West Humboldt Park CeaseFire sites and comparison areas were extracted from a citywide database of 9.3 million incidents reported to Chicago police. Shooting Incidents were geocoded by the evaluation team to longitude and latitude coordinates. Staff Surveys (Datasets 3 - 5): Separate questionnaires were developed for three classes of CeaseFire employees: outreach worker supervisors (Dataset 3), outreach workers (Dataset 4), and violence interrupters (Dataset 5). The researchers attempted to retain a core of common questions that were relevant to most or all staff members, so their responses could be aggregated across groups in order to more accurately characterize the sites as a whole. Questionnaire administration to employees was completed in two waves. The first wave of the survey was largely completed in small group settings. Members of the evaluation staff made pre-arranged visits to each site and distributed questionnaires to all outreach supervisors and outreach workers who gathered there. On return visits they administered the survey to remaining members of the staff and occasionally left questionnaires to be completed and mailed in by absent staffers. Violence interrupters were largely surveyed during their weekly staff meeting. While individual respondents were anonymous, a roster of all CeaseFire employees was used to monitor which staff members were present during the group administrations, to ensure that all had an opportunity to participate in the study. The first survey was conducted May-June 2006. In July-August 2007 the researchers re-surveyed the staff, to include those hired since the first round of questioning, both in the original sites and in new CeaseFire areas. Collaborator Surveys (Datasets 6 - 11): The researchers drew a sample of potential collaborating organizations in each CeaseFire site and interviewed their representatives in each of six community "sectors." The sectors were business (Dataset 6), clergy (Dataset 7), community organizations (Dataset 8), police (Dataset 9), schools (Dataset 10), and service agencies (Dataset 11). Interviews were conducted September 2006 through February 2007. Because each sector played a different role in CeaseFire's program model, the researchers developed interview questions tailored to each role. However, the researchers also attempted to retain a core of common questions that were relevant to all or most collaborators so that their responses could be aggregated across sectors to more accurately characterize the sites as a whole. Client Surveys (Dataset 12): CeaseFire clients were interviewed one-on-one, in a private area. To pilot the survey process, the Northwestern University research team completed interviews at the first site. The Northwestern research team introduced the Metro Chicago Information Center (MCIC), a research organization with a long history of conducting research in Chicago's neighborhoods, to the remaining sites. MCIC conducted the interviews at the remaining sites. Teams of two interviewers spent two or three weeks at each site, depending upon the size of the sample. Respondents were given a $50 gift certificate from a well-known electronics, music, and video chain store at the conclusion of each interview. The pilot survey began on April 5, 2007. The majority of the interviews took place during May, June, and July 2007. Interviewing conducted by MCIC concluded on July 19, 2007.
Date made available2015
PublisherICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
Date of data productionJan 1 1991 - Sep 1 2008
Geographical coverageChicago

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