Cash For Killers

Gun violence is a very small percentage of crime in general, but has a very profound impact on survivors, community members and the public in general.

This particular type of violent crime is getting a bizarre but seemingly effective response from intercity leaders: Pay known shooters to put down their guns.

Programs to pay known shooters for peace is being considered by Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs, according to Fox 40 news: http://fox40.com/2017/07/05/mayor-tubbs-responds-to-string-of-deadly-violence-in-stockton/, after a string of shootings has left six people dead in a week.

The idea has been successfully used in the city of Richmond, California by a program named Advance Peace, https://www.advancepeace.org/, founded by DaVone Boggan. In 2007 Richmond, California was the murder capital of the country fueled by rampant gun violence.

Boggan, who worked with the cities Office of Neighborhood Safety, patterned the program after other violence prevention programs around the country. He hired formerly incarcerated people who had done time for gun related charges to mentor those identified as possible shooters. These suspected shooters have avoided prosecution due to lack of evidence, but Boggan’s mentors are able to reach them being from the same neighborhoods and having similar experiences.

The men identified as potential shooters are given a fellowship with a stipend of $1,000 per month for 18 months to put down their guns. Fellow must first avoid criminal conduct for six months before receiving the stipend.

Critics question the wisdom of giving taxpayer money to suspected murderers to not kill. Mayor Tubbs argues that the cost of arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning these same men is higher and less cost effective. Incarceration costs alone is reported to cost over $70,000 a year.

Whether Stockton Mayor Tubbs will utilize the same model as the city of Richmond remains to be seen. Six murders in six days is motivation enough to take drastic action before more lives are lost unnecessarily.

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