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Author Topic: Crime Pays  (Read 3052 times)

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Crime Pays
« on: February 12, 2016, 11:43:37 PM »
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/paying-criminals-not-to-commit-crime-may-not-be-so-funny-after-all/2016/02/08/151ab936-cea3-11e5-b2bc-988409ee911b_story.html?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email

By Petula Dvorak

I know. It sounds totally preposterous. Paying criminals not to commit crimes.

The D.C. Council unanimously voted for this bananas-sounding plan last week.

A Hail Mary scheme to cut the increase in the crime rate in the nation’s ever-glammier capital would handpick about 50 of the city’s most violent, likely-to-regress young offenders and pay them about $9,000 annually to be good.

This sounds almost like a dystopian Margaret Atwood novel.

Did the mafia take over the D.C. Council’s brains? Because how isn’t this an extortion racket?

And is there retroactive payback for all my law-abiding years in the city? I can use $150,000 just about now. Or maybe I need to go commit a crime so I can get my government payout.

And what next? Reverse speed cameras that send you checks in the mail for going under the speed limit?

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) is politically savvy enough to make it clear that she isn’t buying into the plan, which would cost nearly $5 million for four years.

She knows the optics of it are ghastly.

So, if we’re done with the har-har outrage, let’s take a closer look at the proposal.

After a long, steady drop in the crime rate over many years, the District had 162 homicides in 2015 — an alarming, 54 percent jump compared with the previous year.

When the bloodshed was peaking over the summer, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said a big part of the violence came from people fresh out of lockup.

“Multiple . . . offenders involved in homicide have previous homicide charges and are recently back in the community,” Lanier said at a news conference in August. “That’s significant, and it’s different from anything we’ve seen before.”

Reentry is something that has confounded cities for decades. Old neighborhoods and old rivals beckon, but opportunities for success do not. It’s not a new story.

So, what to do about those bad guys: Jobs? Schools?

Turns out the most successful federal program to help with jobs and education — Federal Prison Industries (FPI) — has been cut by half over the past decade, according to Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates. The opportunities are slim for people with records.


Meanwhile, about 6,000 federal inmates whose drug sentences were recently reduced have been released back into communities across the nation in the past few months. And with what new help to reintegrate? Not a lot.

I’ve walked through some of the steps to reentry with some ex-offenders, and I see the roadblocks. Appointments with parole officers clash with job interviews, potential employers don’t call back, one Metro breakdown and you’ve missed curfew.

In the District, about 8,000 men and women annually are returned to the city after being locked up and about half of them end up back behind bars within three years.

Watching these folks slip up and throwing them right back in jail costs taxpayers $30,000 a year for incarceration.

Every gun homicide in America costs taxpayers about $400,000.

Looking at it as a budget issue, paying someone $9,000 a year to stay out of trouble is cheap.

But this thing that the District is considering isn’t just a paycheck for being good. The Most Wanted members will only get the cash if they also go through an intensive, stay-straight program of education, counseling and job training that lasts about nine months.

It’s modeled after one in Richmond, Calif., in the shadow of San Francisco. Richmond had been among the nation’s Top 10 in homicide rates.

After that city started the pay-for-peace plan six years ago, gun-related violence plummeted.

Sure, it could be because that city also got an outside-the-box, new police chief, an openly gay man who pushed community policing beats, held up a Black Lives Matter sign and encouraged rehabilitation over jail. It could be that demographics are changing and the city followed the nationwide drop in crime.

Or it could be because the 68 people picked as Most Likely to Kill in that town were finally singled out. These guys came to the program with a “laundry list of deprivation and dysfunction: high unemployment, fragmented families, inadequate education and a heavy dose of substance abuse,” said the program’s founder, Devone E. Boggan, in a New York Times editorial.


But then someone asked more of them. They took trips to college campuses, and they were forced to make friends with rivals. For every month they attended meetings, listened to mentors, didn’t get in trouble, they got $1,000.

The cash helped pay rent and buy food. But ultimately, it was the attention to them, their futures and their success that kept those guys coming back, that kept them straight. It’s focused attention to their well-being that many never had before.

There’s no punch line. No great one-liner here. Just a lot of hard work and some success.

And even if the optics are bad, that’s got to be worth a try.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Give this a listen:  https://soundcloud.com/radio-diaries/38-crime-pays
It's only 20 minutes long and explains the Richmond, CA program the DC plan is based on.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

And this is the New York Times article by Devone E. Boggan that the (somewhat bitchy, IMO) columnist mentions in the article up top:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/opinion/sunday/to-stop-crime-hand-over-cash.html?_r=0  (bolding mine - holy crap!)

Richmond, Calif. — IN 2007, this city of about 100,000 people, north of Berkeley, had the dubious distinction of being the ninth most dangerous in America. That year saw a total of 47 homicides. In some neighborhoods, gunfire was almost a daily event.

At one point, the City Council considered asking the governor to declare a state of emergency and send in the National Guard. Instead, in 2007, the city created the Office of Neighborhood Safety. (I am the founding director.) Our mission was simple: to tackle this epidemic of gun violence that was killing so many young men, mostly in our minority communities.

We modeled our approach on “Cure Violence,” a community outreach program in Chicago founded by the epidemiologist Gary Slutkin. The Chicago project evolved from the Operation Ceasefire program begun in Boston in the mid-1990s, since replicated in scores of cities across America. Many of these were successful at reducing gun violence, but we felt that they were too law-enforcement-driven and lacked the social services to help the most vulnerable in our neighborhoods.

The young people on the streets saw Ceasefire as a police initiative and little more. These were the young men who became our clients, those whom we’d identified as especially at risk — either of being a shooter or of being shot.

This was easier than you might think.

A police liaison officer told us this startling fact: An estimated 70 percent of shootings and homicides in Richmond in 2009 were caused by just 17 individuals, primarily African-American and Hispanic-American men between the ages of 16 and 25.

We employed street-savvy staff members, whom we called neighborhood change agents. Think of their work as a kinder version of stop-and-frisk, more like stop-and-blend with the profile subjects, to build healthy, consistent relationships with those most likely to shoot or be a victim of gunfire.

Once we’d identified the city’s potentially most lethal young men, we invited them to a meeting (the first was in 2010). Then came the big innovation of the Operation Peacemaker fellowship program. We offered those young men a partnership deal: We would pay them — yes, pay them — not to pull the trigger.

The deal we offered was this: If they kept their commitment to us for six months — attended meetings, stayed out of trouble, responded to our mentoring — they became eligible to earn up to $1,000 a month for a maximum of nine months.

Predictably, this was controversial: Not everyone was a fan of this cash-for-peace strategy. We had skeptics and critics aplenty, including on the City Council. It was a bold measure, but would it work?

Shyeed, age 19, was one of Richmond’s most wanted. He had been tutored by his father and uncles to regard south Richmond as his. Like all sides in the confused gang wars, he had lost comrades and felt obliged to avenge them.

For Shyeed to attend was a coup for us. He was respected. As another would-be fellow said, “Shyeed don’t fear pulling that trigger.” When I saw him walk into that first meeting, I had imagined him bigger, harder-looking, mean and cold. Instead, he was small and had a great smile.

Advertisement

Continue reading the main story
Advertisement

Continue reading the main story
He was wary at first. Either I was police (because of my haircut), he thought, or a “big pimp” because of my “fine threads.” Either way, he quipped, “Show me how to do you.”

The idea of a cash incentive to change behavior is not hard to grasp. The social context for our prospective fellows was a laundry list of deprivation and dysfunction: high unemployment, fragmented families, inadequate education and a heavy dose of substance abuse. The proportion of families living below the poverty level in the neighborhoods where we focused our efforts was 25 percent — nearly double the average rate in Richmond.

In most other cities, the law enforcement response to high rates of firearm assaults is stuck in a destructive cycle of police sweeps and mass incarceration. That strategy costs taxpayers a great deal, for little return. In many municipalities where gun violence is significant, the city’s public safety expenditure can be a considerable burden on the overall city budget. That is not sustainable.

Nationally, it is estimated that in 2012 gun violence cost more than $229 billion. The average cost to taxpayers of every gun homicide in America is nearly $400,000.

In contrast, the costs of our program were modest. In practice, we have rarely needed to pay the full amount offered under the terms of our deal: Just over half our fellowship participants receive payments, usually in the $300 to $700 range. So if our program prevented gun deaths, there could be little argument about cost-effectiveness.

It did. In the first year of Operation Peacemaker, homicides in Richmond fell to 22 (from 45 in 2009). In five years of our program, through 2014, we have seen the number of homicides in Richmond, which had averaged 40 a year, more than halved; firearm assaults in general fell by a similar proportion.

In 2014, we celebrated the lowest number of firearm assaults and homicides in more than four decades. Richmond recorded a 76 percent reduction in homicides and a 69 percent reduction in firearm assaults from 2007, when the Office of Neighborhood Safety was created.

In reality, we’ve achieved these results not simply by the cash incentive. Our change agents work with about 150 clients a year, at a cost of about $20,000 per person, which pays for daily mentoring, coaching and companionship. By comparison, it costs our city about $200,000 to hire one new police officer.

Not all of our fellows become model citizens overnight, but the results go beyond fewer shootings. More are in school or in jobs; there is more parenting, less drug use. And some have gone on to participate in other programs that are improving their prospects and our neighborhoods. I hope more cities will copy Richmond’s program. Encouragingly, the city of Oakland is incorporating some elements of our fellowship in its Operation Ceasefire work.

Shyeed’s mother once told me that “the only time I thought that I’d see him in a suit was at his funeral.” He had never owned a suit before the fellowship. Shyeed himself told me that he wanted to be around to see his own, newborn son grow up.

When Shyeed agreed to participate in the fellowship, it made it easier for others to do so, too. He now has a full-time job in maritime fire and rescue, but still serves as an ambassador for us. And when he renounced gun violence, his loyalty shifted over to our counselors: “I didn’t want to let them down.”

If we seriously want to reduce gun violence — in Richmond or any other city — it is young men like Shyeed who must spearhead that transformation.


Offline YoImDope">YoImDope

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Re: Crime Pays
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 12:07:40 AM »
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/paying-criminals-not-to-commit-crime-may-not-be-so-funny-after-all/2016/02/08/151ab936-cea3-11e5-b2bc-988409ee911b_story.html?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email

By Petula Dvorak

I know. It sounds totally preposterous. Paying criminals not to commit crimes.

The D.C. Council unanimously voted for this bananas-sounding plan last week.

A Hail Mary scheme to cut the increase in the crime rate in the nation’s ever-glammier capital would handpick about 50 of the city’s most violent, likely-to-regress young offenders and pay them about $9,000 annually to be good.

This sounds almost like a dystopian Margaret Atwood novel.

Did the mafia take over the D.C. Council’s brains? Because how isn’t this an extortion racket?

And is there retroactive payback for all my law-abiding years in the city? I can use $150,000 just about now. Or maybe I need to go commit a crime so I can get my government payout.

And what next? Reverse speed cameras that send you checks in the mail for going under the speed limit?

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) is politically savvy enough to make it clear that she isn’t buying into the plan, which would cost nearly $5 million for four years.

She knows the optics of it are ghastly.

So, if we’re done with the har-har outrage, let’s take a closer look at the proposal.

After a long, steady drop in the crime rate over many years, the District had 162 homicides in 2015 — an alarming, 54 percent jump compared with the previous year.

When the bloodshed was peaking over the summer, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said a big part of the violence came from people fresh out of lockup.

“Multiple . . . offenders involved in homicide have previous homicide charges and are recently back in the community,” Lanier said at a news conference in August. “That’s significant, and it’s different from anything we’ve seen before.”

Reentry is something that has confounded cities for decades. Old neighborhoods and old rivals beckon, but opportunities for success do not. It’s not a new story.

So, what to do about those bad guys: Jobs? Schools?

Turns out the most successful federal program to help with jobs and education — Federal Prison Industries (FPI) — has been cut by half over the past decade, according to Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates. The opportunities are slim for people with records.


Meanwhile, about 6,000 federal inmates whose drug sentences were recently reduced have been released back into communities across the nation in the past few months. And with what new help to reintegrate? Not a lot.

I’ve walked through some of the steps to reentry with some ex-offenders, and I see the roadblocks. Appointments with parole officers clash with job interviews, potential employers don’t call back, one Metro breakdown and you’ve missed curfew.

In the District, about 8,000 men and women annually are returned to the city after being locked up and about half of them end up back behind bars within three years.

Watching these folks slip up and throwing them right back in jail costs taxpayers $30,000 a year for incarceration.

Every gun homicide in America costs taxpayers about $400,000.

Looking at it as a budget issue, paying someone $9,000 a year to stay out of trouble is cheap.

But this thing that the District is considering isn’t just a paycheck for being good. The Most Wanted members will only get the cash if they also go through an intensive, stay-straight program of education, counseling and job training that lasts about nine months.

It’s modeled after one in Richmond, Calif., in the shadow of San Francisco. Richmond had been among the nation’s Top 10 in homicide rates.

After that city started the pay-for-peace plan six years ago, gun-related violence plummeted.

Sure, it could be because that city also got an outside-the-box, new police chief, an openly gay man who pushed community policing beats, held up a Black Lives Matter sign and encouraged rehabilitation over jail. It could be that demographics are changing and the city followed the nationwide drop in crime.

Or it could be because the 68 people picked as Most Likely to Kill in that town were finally singled out. These guys came to the program with a “laundry list of deprivation and dysfunction: high unemployment, fragmented families, inadequate education and a heavy dose of substance abuse,” said the program’s founder, Devone E. Boggan, in a New York Times editorial.


But then someone asked more of them. They took trips to college campuses, and they were forced to make friends with rivals. For every month they attended meetings, listened to mentors, didn’t get in trouble, they got $1,000.

The cash helped pay rent and buy food. But ultimately, it was the attention to them, their futures and their success that kept those guys coming back, that kept them straight. It’s focused attention to their well-being that many never had before.

There’s no punch line. No great one-liner here. Just a lot of hard work and some success.

And even if the optics are bad, that’s got to be worth a try.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Give this a listen:  https://soundcloud.com/radio-diaries/38-crime-pays
It's only 20 minutes long and explains the Richmond, CA program the DC plan is based on.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

And this is the New York Times article by Devone E. Boggan that the (somewhat bitchy, IMO) columnist mentions in the article up top:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/opinion/sunday/to-stop-crime-hand-over-cash.html?_r=0  (bolding mine - holy crap!)

Richmond, Calif. — IN 2007, this city of about 100,000 people, north of Berkeley, had the dubious distinction of being the ninth most dangerous in America. That year saw a total of 47 homicides. In some neighborhoods, gunfire was almost a daily event.

At one point, the City Council considered asking the governor to declare a state of emergency and send in the National Guard. Instead, in 2007, the city created the Office of Neighborhood Safety. (I am the founding director.) Our mission was simple: to tackle this epidemic of gun violence that was killing so many young men, mostly in our minority communities.

We modeled our approach on “Cure Violence,” a community outreach program in Chicago founded by the epidemiologist Gary Slutkin. The Chicago project evolved from the Operation Ceasefire program begun in Boston in the mid-1990s, since replicated in scores of cities across America. Many of these were successful at reducing gun violence, but we felt that they were too law-enforcement-driven and lacked the social services to help the most vulnerable in our neighborhoods.

The young people on the streets saw Ceasefire as a police initiative and little more. These were the young men who became our clients, those whom we’d identified as especially at risk — either of being a shooter or of being shot.

This was easier than you might think.

A police liaison officer told us this startling fact: An estimated 70 percent of shootings and homicides in Richmond in 2009 were caused by just 17 individuals, primarily African-American and Hispanic-American men between the ages of 16 and 25.

We employed street-savvy staff members, whom we called neighborhood change agents. Think of their work as a kinder version of stop-and-frisk, more like stop-and-blend with the profile subjects, to build healthy, consistent relationships with those most likely to shoot or be a victim of gunfire.

Once we’d identified the city’s potentially most lethal young men, we invited them to a meeting (the first was in 2010). Then came the big innovation of the Operation Peacemaker fellowship program. We offered those young men a partnership deal: We would pay them — yes, pay them — not to pull the trigger.

The deal we offered was this: If they kept their commitment to us for six months — attended meetings, stayed out of trouble, responded to our mentoring — they became eligible to earn up to $1,000 a month for a maximum of nine months.

Predictably, this was controversial: Not everyone was a fan of this cash-for-peace strategy. We had skeptics and critics aplenty, including on the City Council. It was a bold measure, but would it work?

Shyeed, age 19, was one of Richmond’s most wanted. He had been tutored by his father and uncles to regard south Richmond as his. Like all sides in the confused gang wars, he had lost comrades and felt obliged to avenge them.

For Shyeed to attend was a coup for us. He was respected. As another would-be fellow said, “Shyeed don’t fear pulling that trigger.” When I saw him walk into that first meeting, I had imagined him bigger, harder-looking, mean and cold. Instead, he was small and had a great smile.

Advertisement

Continue reading the main story
Advertisement

Continue reading the main story
He was wary at first. Either I was police (because of my haircut), he thought, or a “big pimp” because of my “fine threads.” Either way, he quipped, “Show me how to do you.”

The idea of a cash incentive to change behavior is not hard to grasp. The social context for our prospective fellows was a laundry list of deprivation and dysfunction: high unemployment, fragmented families, inadequate education and a heavy dose of substance abuse. The proportion of families living below the poverty level in the neighborhoods where we focused our efforts was 25 percent — nearly double the average rate in Richmond.

In most other cities, the law enforcement response to high rates of firearm assaults is stuck in a destructive cycle of police sweeps and mass incarceration. That strategy costs taxpayers a great deal, for little return. In many municipalities where gun violence is significant, the city’s public safety expenditure can be a considerable burden on the overall city budget. That is not sustainable.

Nationally, it is estimated that in 2012 gun violence cost more than $229 billion. The average cost to taxpayers of every gun homicide in America is nearly $400,000.

In contrast, the costs of our program were modest. In practice, we have rarely needed to pay the full amount offered under the terms of our deal: Just over half our fellowship participants receive payments, usually in the $300 to $700 range. So if our program prevented gun deaths, there could be little argument about cost-effectiveness.

It did. In the first year of Operation Peacemaker, homicides in Richmond fell to 22 (from 45 in 2009). In five years of our program, through 2014, we have seen the number of homicides in Richmond, which had averaged 40 a year, more than halved; firearm assaults in general fell by a similar proportion.

In 2014, we celebrated the lowest number of firearm assaults and homicides in more than four decades. Richmond recorded a 76 percent reduction in homicides and a 69 percent reduction in firearm assaults from 2007, when the Office of Neighborhood Safety was created.

In reality, we’ve achieved these results not simply by the cash incentive. Our change agents work with about 150 clients a year, at a cost of about $20,000 per person, which pays for daily mentoring, coaching and companionship. By comparison, it costs our city about $200,000 to hire one new police officer.

Not all of our fellows become model citizens overnight, but the results go beyond fewer shootings. More are in school or in jobs; there is more parenting, less drug use. And some have gone on to participate in other programs that are improving their prospects and our neighborhoods. I hope more cities will copy Richmond’s program. Encouragingly, the city of Oakland is incorporating some elements of our fellowship in its Operation Ceasefire work.

Shyeed’s mother once told me that “the only time I thought that I’d see him in a suit was at his funeral.” He had never owned a suit before the fellowship. Shyeed himself told me that he wanted to be around to see his own, newborn son grow up.

When Shyeed agreed to participate in the fellowship, it made it easier for others to do so, too. He now has a full-time job in maritime fire and rescue, but still serves as an ambassador for us. And when he renounced gun violence, his loyalty shifted over to our counselors: “I didn’t want to let them down.”

If we seriously want to reduce gun violence — in Richmond or any other city — it is young men like Shyeed who must spearhead that transformation.
This is fucking sickening but makes sense to an extent. Hey though, I got a ton of testosterone and wana weave chaos...Send me a fucking check

Offline Jega

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Re: Crime Pays
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2016, 12:10:15 AM »
Hey Riddick, stop jacking yourself off in every thread.

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