Proposed Stipend-Based Violence Intervention Program: What’s Your Opinion?

On March 1st, next Tuesday, the DC Council will vote again on the proposed stipend-based violence intervention program that it preliminarily approved (unanimously) on February 2nd as part of anti-crime legislation called the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results Amendment Act of 2016 [Read text here. Read Committee Report here].  If it wins final approval by the District Council, it will head to the Mayor for action (and, ultimately, Congress would have to approve it under the District of Columbia Home Rule Act).

Are you in favor or against?  Information and links are provided below to help you make up your mind.  Then let your council member know how you feel. [Names and contact information here].

The proposed program, modeled on a 9-year-old program in Richmond, California, would identify individuals “who pose a high risk of participating in, or being a victim of, violent criminal activity” and then pay them a stipend to remain crime-free and follow a program “involving life planning, trauma informed therapy, and mentorship.”

The amount of the stipend is not specified but the fiscal impact statement submitted with the bill assumes a stipend of $9,000 for 50 individuals each year, based on the Richmond program.

For an in-depth look at the Richmond program, a violence intervention program adopted by Baltimore that isn’t stipend-based, and an existing program in DC to help at-risk youth called the Capital Guardian Youth Challenge Academy that the DC Attorney General would like to see expanded, read WAMU’s recent three-part series called DC’s New Angles on Fighting Crime:

For two opinion pieces in favor of the proposed DC stipend program:

And here are two opinion pieces against the proposal:

For additional background:

 

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