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DC wants to pay criminals NOT to commit crimes


Regular Member
Apr 12, 2007
NO VA, ,
They say crime doesn't pay, but that might not be entirely true in D.C., 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.


Founder's Club Member
Nov 15, 2006
Fairfax Co., VA
Oh, man! Was I sucked in by the thread title. I thought DC was gonna pay congress to go home for the winter or something.* :)

*Note: Comment is a play on a famous Mark Twain quip: "America has no distinct criminal class. Except congress."
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Regular Member
Dec 29, 2008
This is brilliant. Kind of like taxes all over again, but paid for by the first taxers with taxes. Like, history of taxation recursed? Pay the barbarians to leave you alone. Now the first barbarians are going to pay the second barbarians to leave you alone, with a cut of the taxes, like a tax to them.


Regular Member
Aug 22, 2013
here nc
the nice feds, state, and local LEs would be devastated if we initiated a proposition like Portugal did:

Drug use has declined overall among the 15- to 24-year-old population, those most at risk of initiating drug use,

At the turn of the millennium, Portugal shifted drug control from the Justice Department to the Ministry of Health and instituted a robust public health model for treating hard drug addiction.

Many advocates for decriminalizing or legalizing illicit drugs around the world have gloried in Portugal's success. They point to its effectiveness as an unambiguous sign that decriminalization works.




Campaign Veteran
Jul 31, 2011
Criminals can't carry guns. I read that in a law somewhere. Therefore, I am able to commit more heinous crimes because I can carry a gun. Therefore, I should get even more money as an incentive not to do them. You know, I'll bet there is a Democrat out there thinking that I just made perfect sense.


Regular Member
Feb 19, 2013
Based on the DC program's numbers, if they target 200 people for stipends, it only works out to a little more than $2,000/person. Meanwhile, the 4-year program will spend just over $3,000,000 to administer it.

Great plan. :banghead:

DC has over 16,000 inhabitants that are on parole or supervised release. 200 high-risk people work out to- at most- 1.25% of the criminal population. Might as well try to ban "assault rifles" to curb violent crime.

I boiled the problem down with this program on another forum, who have some ardent supporters.

Dad: "Johnny, we will pay you $1 a week if you don't hurt your sister."
Lil' Johnny: "Ok."
A month later:
Dad: "Johnny, you were paid to not hurt your sister. Why did you hurt her? She has broken arms, a broken leg, and a black eye."
Johnny: "I want a raise."

The DC program points to the one in California as a stunning example of the result this program would do in DC. However, the pilot program in CA is paying individuals up to $9000 a year. DC program won't come close to that. Also, the police in Richmond said that the program wasn't a big factor in the drop in crime. Better community involvement and a changing demographic in the city did more to affect change than the program.