Paying Criminals to Behave Does Not Pay Off in D.C.
Washington D.C legislators are pushing to reform their criminal justice system to be modeled after a process put in place in California that pays criminals a stipend to not commit crimes. D.C. Council members approved the pay for peace program unanimously in early March.
Opponents quickly pointed out the sheer absurdity of the idea to pay criminals for following the law, including Tim Lynch, director of the project of criminal justice at the Cato Institute. Lynch told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “I’m very skeptical of the concept. “I think it’s frankly an awful idea and I think the policy makers have things backwards. If they have any money, I think it should be spent at the other end of the spectrum for people who are getting out of prison, and that is where the government tends to be very stingy.”
Launched by Council member Kenyan McDuffie, the proposal asks that 50 of Washington’s most violent criminals receive $1,000 a month if they do not partake in any criminal activity, specifically violent crimes such as homicide. As part of the program, criminals must also engage in mentorship and rehabilitation programs.
The idiotic program is based off of one in Richmond, California that has been deemed a success, although there are no official numbers to prove that this is true. Although the Richmond program is privately funded, the Washington D.C. program asks for taxpayers to pay criminals in their city to stop committing crime!
Lynch understandably argues against the idea of rewarding criminals for not stealing or hurting people, saying “These are things people shouldn’t be paid to do.”
Proponents of the plan argue that Richmond saw a 77% decrease in crime after implementing the program, although there is no way to show that this policy change had a direct impact on the crime rates.
Despite supporters of the policy touting that it will be the end to D.C’s crime, a look at the actual crime rates tell a different story. Compared to last year, the first quarter of 2016 in D.C. saw higher incidences of homicide, sex abuse, assault with a dangerous weapon and robbery. All of these violet crimes have already seen a spike four months into the year, so how can supports of the plan argue that paying criminal pays off for society?
Editor’s note: I’ve never heard of anyone volunteering to be extorted before. How many people are not going to commit violent crimes just so they can get the monthly stipend? I can’t believe anyone is this stupid.