Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs has announced a new program in his city, they will start paying people not to shoot anyone. This is no joke. Well, it is but it isn’t, you know what I mean. The city will pick out people they feel are prone to violence and put them into counseling.
After six months, they will start getting a stipend from the city. I may be a bit cynical, but I wonder how long before one of these dangerous but misunderstood youths uses their stipend to buy a gun and ammunition. I do hope it succeeds so I can sign up and get money for not robbing banks, committing stock fraud and colluding with the Russians… in case you couldn’t tell, I’m totally kidding.
If successful in the program, individuals enrolled in Advance Peace would be eligible for a stipend meant to keep them on the straight and narrow.
“The money happens after six months of intensive case management,” Tubbs said in response to critics who describe the program as little more than a bribe to potential criminals.
He also defended the program on the fiscal front, noting the financial cost associated with violent crime.
“We’re paying $400,000 a year as cities for every homicide and every shooting, not even measuring the amount of trauma,” he said.
Tubbs said: “It’s also intensive case management. It’s cognitive behavior therapy, so helping you with trauma. It’s transformative travel.”
“The crux is the relationship. It’s seven days a week communication and it’s also life mapping. It’s sitting down with your coach and figuring out how do they get from A to B.”
The reason I remain unconvinced is that dangerous individuals receive counseling all the time and then go on to commit violence. Will a paycheck really alter that? I wish it would but any act of violence comes from a warped sense of reality and if prison or death is not a deterrent, can we really believe a little money will make the difference? That might get people to attend the sessions but it won’t alter their actions in the long run.
But I do hope they prove me wrong.