To put it in perspective, the sum deaths of all the mass murders since about 1982 in the whole country just about equals Chicago's total in this past year.
A little background helps get a view of the situation. The city is in deep financial trouble, so of course they lay off police. (Sinecures are vital, safety personnel aren't.)
And you tend to get more of what you reward:
The Chicago school superintendent, Ron Huberman ... who created highly regarded information-retrieval and accountability systems for the police department and the city's emergency response center in previous city jobs, has now applied his passion for data analysis to Chicago's violent kids. Using a profile of past shooting victims that includes such factors as school truancy rates and disciplinary records, he has identified several hundred teens as having a greater than 20 percent chance of getting shot over the next two years. The goal is to provide them with wraparound social services. (The profile of victim and perpetrator is indistinguishable, but targeting potential victims, rather than perpetrators, for such benefits as government-subsidized jobs is politically savvy.) The program will assign the 300 or so potential victims their own "advocates," who will intercede on their behalf with government agencies and provide them with case management and counseling.
Adam Smith is supposed to have said that "Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." Perhaps the people driving these sorts of programs can't wrap their minds around more than one thought at a time and have settled on "mercy is a good thing." Or maybe they really believe that "This time it has to work because I'm in charge, and only I know how to do it right."
So gangsters get their own lobbyists, and nobody's mind boggles.
Come to think of it, does mercy mean anything if there's no law? How do you waive punishment if there's no punishment to begin with?
Maybe there was a little solid wisdom in the old mores that looked askance at bastards. As a rule of thumb: "No daddy=less discipline" and possibly some background of impulsiveness. (I gather that children of widows do better than children of the unmarried or divorced, though the numbers were taken from the larger society and not the ghetto.)
(*) When I was at UICC a debate raged about admissions standards. "Evil" people said raise them, "good" people said keep them low so lots of local "talent" could benefit, and the "unpersons" said go ahead and keep them low but spend the money on remedial education before the low scorers move into the regular college course tiers.