Speaking at a City Club of Chicago luncheon on Thursday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said on any given day there are 4,000 Chicago police officers on the streets and an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 gang-bangers in the city.
"How in the world can we incarcerate our way out of the problem when we are outnumbered that much?" Fitzgerald said.
Instead, he suggested corporations can play a part in turning things around.
The Sun-Times reports that Fitzgerald stood before a roomful of the city's business leaders and asked them to step up and hire a felon.
Additionally, he asked that the corporations sponsor after-school programs or teen's summer internships, and focus on "some of the most economically depressed areas of the city," the paper said.
While there are felons who don't want to return to the gang life, Fitzgerald said, they're released back into a neighborhood lacking infrastructure and support. They see no other opportunities, he said. "When they got there, they tried to open the door, and it was locked," he said.