Sept. 28, 1995

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    Conference to honor Shaw's work on juvenile crime prevention

    Chicago sociologist noted for work in city's neighborhoods A conference honoring the work of Clifford Shaw, a leading Chicago figure in juvenile crime prevention who studied sociology at the University, will be held Friday, Oct. 6, and Saturday, Oct. 7, in the library of Ida Noyes Hall.

    "Shaw was both a great sociologist and a humanitarian," said Robert Sampson, Professor in Sociology. Sampson is an organizer of the conference, which is co-sponsored by the University and the Chicago Area Project, a program for juvenile crime prevention that Shaw founded in 1932.

    Sampson said Shaw is best known for two contributions to the study of delinquency: the use of autobiographical documentation as a source of data on life histories, and the study of multiple city neighborhoods to understand differences in social organization that lead to high rates of juvenile delinquency.

    The conference recognizes the 100th anniversary of Shaw's birth. Shaw received his B.A. from Adrian College and was a graduate student at the University from 1919 to 1924 while working at a Chicago settlement house and as a probation officer for the Cook County Juvenile Court. He later served as executive director of the Chicago Area Project until his death in 1957.

    The Chicago Area Project began with a focus on the city's three highest crime areas, establishing independent neighborhood organizations in those areas to combat juvenile delinquency. As executive director, Shaw expanded the program to include a broader range of city neighborhoods. The project's work continues today in neighborhoods throughout the city and suburbs.

    The conference will open with a panel discussion, "The Theory of Social Disorganization: Past and Present," which will include Sampson as a panelist, at 9:15 a.m. Friday, Oct. 6. Later sessions will include Andrew Abbott, Professor in Sociology; graduate student Jeffrey Morenoff; and Irving Spergel, the George Herbert Jones Professor in the School of Social Service Administration. Panelists on Saturday, Oct. 7, will include Gerald Suttles, Professor in Sociology. Saturday's sessions will be followed by a bus tour, beginning at 2:30 p.m., of selected Chicago neighborhoods served by the Chicago Area Project.

    For more information, call 663-3574.