Other states are paying people not to commit crimes, should OK do the same?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

As the saying goes, crime doesn't pay - but preventing crime is a different story.

The Associated Press reports that by paying potential repeat offenders a stipend of up to $9,000 each year not to commit crimes, crime rates have drastically decreased in Richmond, California.

In fact, homicides there have dropped by 77 percent since the program began in 2007.

And now, lawmakers in the District of Columbia have unanimously approved a similar bill.

According to the AP, district officials in D.C. will identify up to 200 people each year whom they deem high risk for either committing crimes or becoming a crime victim.

If those candidates participate in behavioral therapy and stay out of trouble, they could cash in.

D.C. has high hopes for the program after homicides there went up by 54 percent last year alone.

Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie tells Fox 61 that spending $9,000 a year "pales in comparison" to the taxpayer's cost of putting the criminal in prison, along with the cost of someone being victimized.

The program will cost D.C. about $5 million over the next four years, which will either be approved as new funds by the mayor, or will come from cutting other programs, or from a tax increase.

But some are calling the plan unfair, pointing out that the program will not pay law-abiding residents who choose not to commit crimes.

What do you think?

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.