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    Is Paying People Not to Commit Crimes Effective?

    Washington, D.C., may offer some people financial incentives to follow the law. It wouldn't be the first.
    BY  FEBRUARY 8, 2016

    If the threat of jail or job loss isn’t enough incentive not to commit a crime, here’s one more: cash money.

    That’s the tactic Washington, D.C., is considering after the city suffered an alarming 54 percent increase in its murder rate last year. A similar approach in Richmond, Calif., has helped to reduce crime.

    The city council in D.C. gave unanimous but preliminary approval to a bill earlier this month that would identify up to 200 young people a year considered at risk of either committing or becoming victims of violent crime. If they complete behavioral therapy, life planning and mentorship programs run by the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement -- and stay crime-free the entire year -- they would get paid.

    The bill doesn't specify how much participants could earn, but the program would cost an average of $1.2 million a year for the first four years, including $460,000 for stipends.

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