D.C. passes bill that would pay 'at-risk' residents not to commit crimes

The District of Columbia is turning to what some say is a controversial and peculiar method to drop its crime rates.

The D.C. council unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that includes a program where taxpayers pay residents a stipend not to commit crimes. City officials would pick up to 200 "at-risk" offenders and provide them with job training as well as a cash incentive to stay out of trouble.

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The D.C. bill is based on a program in Richmond, California, that pays individuals who've been involved in violence and are at risk of getting involved again.

"Firearm assaults are down in Richmond; homicides are down in Richmond. Is (the Office of Neighborhood Safety) responsible?" a reporter asked.

"No, these young men are responsible," said Office of Neighborhood Safety program director Devone Boggan.

In 2014, the city of Richmond saw a two-thirds drop in homicides since it launched the program in 2007.

According to The Washington Post, D.C.'s bill would cost the city "$3.9 million in the current fiscal year and $25.6 million through the end of 2019."

The bill didn't specify the value of the individual stipends.

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