According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, a person’s social network can predict if a person will become a victim of gun violence in Chicago.

Race and poverty also provides clues to the likelihood, but researchers didn’t find them to be as significant.

From Chicago Sun-Times:

People in the same network are more likely to engage in similar risky behaviors like carrying a gun or committing crimes, which increases their chances of becoming murder victims…Andrew Papachristos and co-author Christopher Wildeman examined killings from 2006 to 2011 in a six-square-mile area with some of the city’s highest murder rates.Six percent of the population was involved in 70 percent of the murders. Those in the 6 percent group had a 900 percent increased chance of becoming a murder victim, according to the study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Read more at Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Police Department is already practicing the use of social network analysis to predict where murders might happen to try to prevent them. The department identified 400 people most likely to either shoot someone, or be shot over the summer.

Police in California and Connecticut are working on similar social network strategies to reduce crime.

Thoughts on the study?

Are the findings common knowledge or a breakthrough in stopping crime and saving lives?

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