Paying criminals isn’t enough for this city, they also send them on vacation with their victim. Can you believe the city is funding this boondoggle for criminals? How about NOT killing or shooting people in the first place! Liberal logic! If you pay criminals and send them on vacation, will they stop committing crimes?
A San Francisco suburb has taken an unconventional approach to fighting crime by essentially paying a sort of monthly salary to ex-cons in exchange for them staying out of trouble and helping others to do the same.
The program, known as Operation Peacemaker Fellowship, targets some of the most violent offenders in Richmond, California, a city which, just over 10 years ago was ranked the sixth deadliest per capita in the country. Participants oftentimes are straight out of prison, must pledge to improve their lives and eventually mentor to others.
“Richmond was bold enough to take an untested step and try this model of really direct and intense intervention,” said Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown. “And it’s dealing with the violence in the right way: teaching these kids basic life skills and how to not resort to a gun and operate in a civil society.”
Depending on their degree of involvement, participants are paid anywhere from one dollar to $1,000 on a monthly basis, up to $9,000 over an 18-month period. In addition to the monthly income, participants have an allotted $10,000 to go towards funding trips to various destinations, which in the past have included South Africa, London and Mexico City. But there’s a catch to the all-expense paid vacations. Participants must agree to take the trip with either someone who they have attempted to kill or has tried to kill them.
“Wild, right?” said founder of the program, DeVone Boggan. “But they get out there and realize, ‘Hey, this cat’s just like me.’
Boggan has since convinced the city to fund the program, and now, more than five years later, Boggan and senior mentor Sam Vaughn, who entered the program after serving 10 years in prison for beating a man so severely he left him in a vegetative state, say they are working with their fourth group of recruits.
Homicides have steadily dropped since the program’s introduction, reaching an all-time low of just 11 in 2014. However, last year those numbers doubled and, so far this year, the city’s homicide numbers are on track for a repeat year, leaving some to question if the program is actually working.