Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs is a man of ideas. In October 2017, he announced that the city would be giving $500 a month — no strings attached — to at least 100 people of varying income levels over the course of three years. The experiment in wealth distribution, which is to begin this August, is designed to see how well people manage free money.
If that’s not forward-thinking enough for you, try Tubbs’s latest plan. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Stockton is about to award stipends of up to $1,000 a month to residents deemed most likely to shoot somebody.”
The program, called Advance Peace and modeled after a crime reduction program in the Bay Area city of Richmond, proceeds from the premise that “a small number of people are responsible for a large percentage of violence.” Target this group, namely by showering them with cash, and you put an end to gun violence.
Unlike the basic income experiment, the Advance Peace awards come with a catch. To get the cash, participants must undergo counseling and case management over an 18-month period. Presumably if they shoot someone during the probation period, the stipend is forfeited.
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“Advance Peace is not a get out of jail free card,” Tubbs writes on Stockton’s public safety website, adding:
Participating in this program doesn’t erase the past, but it does help these young men learn how to make better choices for their own and our community’s collective future.