WASHINGTON (AP) -- They say crime doesn't pay, but that might not be entirely true in the District of Columbia as lawmakers look for ways to discourage people from becoming repeat offenders.
The D.C. Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a bill that includes a proposal to pay residents a stipend not to commit crimes. It's based on a program in Richmond, California, that advocates say has contributed to deep reductions in crime there.
Under the bill, city officials would identify up to 200 people a year who are considered at risk of either committing or becoming victims of violent crime. Those people would be directed to participate in behavioral therapy and other programs. If they fulfill those obligations and stay out of trouble, they would be paid.
The bill doesn't specify the value of the stipends, but participants in the California program receive up to $9,000 per year.
I have to tell you, $9,000 is more than I make teaching my course at Georgetown Law, and I haven't even lifted any of my students' wallets.