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Farrell, Walter C., Jr.; Johnson, James H., Jr.; Sapp, Marty; Pumphrey, Roger M.; & Freeman, Shirley (1995). Redirecting the Lives of Inner City Black Males: An Assessment of Milwaukee's Midnight Basketball League. Journal of Community Practice, 2, 91-107.


Midnight Basketball is one example of a new generation of social resource programs which are designed to mend the social fabric of inner city communities. In this paper, we present the results of an evaluation of Milwaukee’s Midnight Basketball League, In the Paint at One Two, which indicates that the ‘‘returns’’ on the money invested in the program are far greater than the returns on the enormously popular punitive and paternalistic policies and programs currently advocated at all levels of government. During the first year, the Midnight Basketball program (1) reduced crime rates by 30% in the target area, (2) created a safe haven in which participants (and the fans) could engage in positive social activities, (3) channeled the energy of gang members in a positive direction, and (4) significantly improved the educational and career aspirations of program participants. Nearly all of the participants indicate that such leagues should be developed throughout the city of Milwaukee.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Community Practice


Farrell, Walter C., Jr.
Johnson, James H., Jr.
Sapp, Marty
Pumphrey, Roger M.
Freeman, Shirley