The city of Sacramento is setting aside $1.5 million dollars of taxpayers money to pay gang members to stop killing people.
Following a fatal shooting at the end of August in a city park, the Sacramento city council unanimously approved the “Advance Peace” program in an attempt to address their ongoing problem with violent crime, according to Fox News.
The program pays gang members to graduate school and stop shooting at people. If a gang member wants to start killing people, they’ll be forfeiting their taxpayer-funded payday.
The truth behind the headline!
It will not surprise you to know that the true story is not quite as sensational as the headline suggests. The Advance Peace Program is an established programme which is ‘dedicated to ending cyclical and retaliatory gun violence in American urban neighborhoods. We invest in the development, health, and wellbeing of those at the center of this crisis.’
It has significant backing! Sacramento City Council themselves say:
Advance Peace works to interrupt gun violence in urban neighborhoods by providing transformational opportunities to young adults identified as most likely to be perpetrators and/or victims of gun violence. Advance Peace provides an 18-month persistent outreach and intervention strategy focused on the young men involved, or most likely involved, in firearm offenses and provides a personalized program to disrupt the cycles of violence. The Peacemaker Fellowship is modeled after the City of Richmond’s Office of Neighborhood Safety efforts.
The majority of gun homicides are re-cyclical and retaliatory in nature. Studies show firearm violence is typically driven by a small number of community members. Advance peace focuses intense services to change the mindset of individuals suspected of perpetrating gun violence. Beyond saving lives and money, Advance Peace helps protect and reduce the trauma experienced by people living in these communities.
So… how does it work?
The funding for the payments to the criminal gang members will come from the city’s general fund.
Quite simply, the money will go to investing in transforming the lives of 50 men who are linked to Gangs and suspected of killing people, but there’s not enough evidence to prosecute them through mentorship, education and job training opportunities in addition to potential payments of up to £1,000 per month if those enrolled meet programme goals. More info below –
Will it be a success?
Honestly? We don’t know!
The Advance Peace program started in Richmond, CA and has been credited by some with reducing murders in the city. The website claims that as a result of their efforts, Richmond experienced a 60% reduction in firearm assaults causing injury or death between 2010 and 2016.
However Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert disagrees.
“I support the gang prevention task force and the many evidence-based youth mentoring and intervention programs already in existence in the city of Sacramento. I have serious concerns with a program that is apparently based upon the payment of money to high-risk individuals in exchange for a promise not to engage in violent criminal conduct.
There is insufficient evidence-based data to show this approach is effective in preventing gun violence.”