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San Francisco rolls out program to pay people $300-a-month not to shoot each other

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San Francisco offers to pay people $300 a month – if they promise not to shoot each other.

The ‘awakened’ plan to curb rising violent crime will kick off in October, offering gift cards as an incentive for would-be criminals to lay down their guns.

The pilot program, called the Dream Keeper Fellowship, will kick off with 10 individuals at high risk of shooting or being shot, paying them $300 to act as “public safety ambassadors.”

Sweeteners can drive monthly payments up to $500 if they meet certain benchmarks, such as looking for a job or keeping parole appointments.

The program will be funded by local taxpayers, along with private donations and possibly a federal grant.

It comes as violent crime is skyrocketing in many cities, including San Francisco, where gun crimes have risen 100 percent so far this year compared to the previous year.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, a Democrat, emphasized in an interview that the generous program is not simply “criminal money.”

‘These people have no income. So part of what we’re trying to do is make sure money isn’t a barrier to changing your life,” Breed said. KPIX TV.

A photo shared by the San Francisco Police Department last month shows a woman dangling an AK-47 from the passenger window of a Cadillac. The city is now going to pay people not to shoot each other

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, a Democrat, emphasized in an interview that the generous program is not simply

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, a Democrat, emphasized in an interview that the generous program is not simply “criminal money.”

City officials claim the controversial pilot project is based on the theory that criminals commit violent crimes due to their bleak financial circumstances.

The program is led by the Human Rights Commission and Office of Economic and Workforce Development and is funded through the Dream Keeper Initiative, a city program that diverts funding to communities of color.

Breed said, “We are looking for ways to provide incentives to ensure they are actively involved in seeing their parole and probation officers.”

She added: “The data shows that if you give people opportunities, it can change someone’s life.”

Sheryl Davis, the executive director of the Human Rights Commission, also claims that there is more to the program than what some might consider at first glance.

She said to Fox news“It’s not necessarily as cut and dry as people might think. It’s not as transactional as, “Here’s a few bucks so you don’t do anything bad,” but it’s really about how you help us improve public safety in the neighborhood. When you get better, your community benefits.’

Property crime in San Francisco has been on an upward trajectory over the past decade, as evidenced by the above data from the city's police department.  It peaked in July this year with 3,762 reported incidents compared to the lowest number of incidents in the past decade of 2,243 incidents in May 2010.

Property crime in San Francisco has been on an upward trajectory over the past decade, as evidenced by the above data from the city’s police department. It peaked in July this year with 3,762 reported incidents compared to the lowest number of incidents in the past decade of 2,243 incidents in May 2010.

Sheryl Davis, the executive director of the Human Rights Commission, says there's more to the program than some might consider obvious.

Sheryl Davis, the executive director of the Human Rights Commission, says there’s more to the program than some might consider obvious.

Participants are paired with life coaches from the city’s Street Violence Intervention Program and serve as “community ambassadors.”

Critics were quick to attack the latest San Francisco awakening initiative.

The program is modeled on a program launched in 2016 in Richmond, California, which has reduced the city’s firearms homicide rate by 55 percent, according to a 2019 study. But critics say the findings were viewed with too small a sample size to judge whether such a program would be successful again or elsewhere.

The Washington ExaminerDavid Freddoso wrote: ‘Violent criminals need jail time. They don’t need cash. People who shoot other people should be walled in prisons and kept away from the rest of us. Nobody deserves to be paid for not shooting people.’

Shootings in San Francisco peaked this year, as 119 gun-related victims were reported in the first half of 2021 — doubling the number during the same duration in 2020.

Property crime in San Francisco has also been on the rise over the past decade. According to data from the city’s police, property crime peaked in July this year with 3,762 reported incidents, compared to the lowest number of incidents in the past decade, with 2,243 incidents in May 2010.

The rollout of the program comes as California strives to become the first state to pay drug addicts if they promise to get sober. Governor Gavin Newsom last week asked the federal government for permission to use taxpayers’ money to pay for the program through Medicaid.

And the proposal is going through the Democratic-controlled California legislature, where it has already passed the Senate without opposition and is pending in the Assembly, where it has a Republican co-author.

The San Francisco Police Department's crime dashboard shows a dizzying trend in theft incidents over the past two years.  Theft, including shoplifting, got worse after 2014 when the charge for theft of property less than $950 in value was reduced from felony to felony

The San Francisco Police Department’s crime dashboard shows a dizzying trend in theft incidents over the past two years. Theft, including shoplifting, got worse after 2014 when the charge for theft of property less than $950 in value was reduced from felony to felony

Such progressive measures have been rejected over the past decade by critics who say it only exacerbates the city’s crime problem.

Shoplifting cases have skyrocketed in San Francisco, and several videos released this summer show culprits brazenly walking out of stores with arms full of stolen goods. Charges for theft of property worth less than $950 were reduced from felony to misdemeanor in 2014 — meaning store clerks and security won’t pursue or stop thieves who stole anything worth less than $1,000.

In July, Chesa Boudin, the ultra-progressive district attorney of San Francisco, defended a shoplifter who robbed a shoplifter of a Walgreens store in broad daylight on June 14 in broad daylight. in a garbage bag and then cycled through the store with the stolen goods while the guard and bystanders watched.

The suspect, Jean Lugo-Romero, 40, was arrested on June 19 and is still in prison. He had previously robbed the same store on June 29, 30, 31 and 1, but Walgreens declined to sue, Boudin said.

“When I watch that video, I think of five questions that people don’t ask, but I think they should,” Boudin told The New Yorker. ‘Is he a drug addict, mentally ill, desperate? Is he part of a major retail fence operation? What drives this behavior and is it somehow representative, because it was presented as something symptomatic?’

Officials say program participants will be chosen through a strict screening process, including interview, referral and assessment to ensure participants take the opportunity seriously.

‘The first work is to appear, to be present, to be involved. And we want to remove the barriers that people have to show, don’t we?’ Sheryl Davis, director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, told KPIX. “When it comes to the cost of transportation, when it comes to the cost of lunch — those things. What we’re trying to do is minimize the barriers to appearing. And then when people show up, if they do the work, they can get extra dollars.”

“My wish is to get them, not just make an arrest, but get them and try to find out if they’re willing to work with us on something that’s an alternative.” said Breed when discussing the program. at a summit on prevention of violence organized by the Human Rights Commission last month.

“We can’t just put them in a program without making sure they have money, without making sure they have something to take care of themselves,” she added.

The program is modeled on a program launched in 2016 in Richmond, California, which has reduced the city’s firearms homicide rate by 55 percent, according to a 2019 study. But critics say the findings were viewed with too small a sample size to judge whether such a program would be successful again or elsewhere.

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