Friday, November 14, 2014

Reducing Crime Without Cops

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about law enforcement but I'm also a practical man who looks at things that work and thinks there just might be something to it. And unlike Councilman Zack Matheny I don't think a downtown army is the solution to a problem that begins in our working class neighborhoods.

Such is the case with Richmond, California, one of the most violent cities in California if not the entire nation. It's been years but when I was last in Richmond it wasn't the kind of place even the bad guys wanted to be.

In Richmond they're talking violent offenders into laying down their guns in exchange for a small paycheck, job training and counseling. Those who see their way through the program get to start their lives over. In Richmond they're looking at violence as a public health problem and treating it as such.

So what are the results, you ask? From the linked article:

"Boggan points to the successes of the young men who stayed with the fellowship until the end as a measure of what ONS has accomplished so far. Most important, almost all of the fellows are still alive (sixty-five of sixty-eight) and most have stopped shooting other young men (eleven have been arrested for gun violence since 2010). Richmond has had thirteen homicides so far this year and the police department suspects that five are gang-related. But, Boggan noted, no ONS fellows were involved in the shootings."

And it required fewer police officers, jails, courts and tax dollars to do it. Maybe Greensboro should give it a look. Maybe Zack should join the real Army and toughen up.

Hat tip: Lex