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Washington D.C. Might Pay People to Obey the Law

If you live in D.C. crime definitely doesn’t pay. A new bill has been unanimously passed by the city council including a proposal that would give people a monthly stipend for obeying the law.

Under the bill, city officials would identify around 200 people a year who are considered “at risk” of either committing or becoming victims of violent crime. The group would then be pointed to behavioral therapy and other programs. If individuals follow the program, they would be given a stipend for staying on the right side of the law.

Believe it or not, a similar program is already in effect in Richmond, California. The D.C. bill doesn’t say how much money participants will make, but some on the west coast make as much as $9,000 a year. Council member Kenyan McDuffie, who wrote the proposal, explains that $9,000 a year is nothing compared to the costs of  someone being victimized, along with the costs of prison.

In Richmond, homicides have dropped 77% from 2004, when the program was launched, to 2014. It’s unclear how much of that has to do with the incentive program. At this point, D.C.’s mayor, Muriel Bowser hasn’t committed to funding the bill. 

Source: Associated Press

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