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NEWSMAX – New York City plans to fight crime by paying at-risk youths to choose getting a high school-equivalent diploma or driver’s license instead of a gun.
A new $1 million crime prevention program, announced in July, pairs young people at high risk of gun violence with mentors who help them set and be paid stipends for “career-driven accomplishments,” The Washington Times reported Monday.
National law enforcement groups, however, question the endeavor.
“Providing a financial incentive to not commit gun crime is most assuredly a fanciful, unscientific ‘solution’ to a very specific problem,” National Police Association spokeswoman Betsy Brantner Smith told the Times.
“Instead of stigmatizing and punishing a bad behavior, this program rewards a neutral behavior, and will undoubtedly be rife with fraud.”
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While supporting the idea of youth mentoring programs, Smith said the New York City program “seems like a case of throwing good money after bad.”
Precisely how much money an individual youth could earn in the program remains uncertain. An official in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice told the Times that program organizers were “still in the process of rolling out the next steps.”
New York City’s pilot program is modeled after Advance Peace, an anti-gun violence mentorship program founded in Richmond, California, in 2010.
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