DC might start paying criminals to reduce crime

D.C. Might Start Paying Criminals To Reduce Crime

A major U.S. city could be on the verge of paying its criminals as a way to deter crime.

The D.C. Council has unanimously passed a bill that would offer a stipend to mostly younger residents who have or are likely to be involved in firearms or other violent offenses.

Participants would receive the money in exchange for attending designated classes and training programs and for staying out of trouble.

No amount has been set, but a similar program in Richmond, California, pays its members as much as $9,000 a year.

D.C. legislators decided to move forward with the bill in response to rising crime rates including a 54 percent surge in homicides last year.

The council member spearheading the legislation has argued that the amount of the stipend is minimal compared to the costs of victimization and incarceration.

However, the city's mayor, Muriel E. Bowser, is resistant to the approach, saying that it "failed to include any provision to combat crime."

Should she choose not to support the program, the Council would have to find the funding which totals nearly $5 million across four years.

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