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Viewer comments on a program offering cash to reduce crime

Viewers expressed both skepticism and hope regarding NewsHour Weekend’s report on “Operation Peacemaker,” the California program paying young men who have criminal records $1,000 per month to stay out of trouble. In the latest installment of “Viewers Like You,” Alison Stewart reads your comments.

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  • ALISON STEWART, NEWSHOUR ANCHOR:

    And now to "Viewers Like You" – Your chance to comment on our work.

    Here's what some of you said about last week's signature segment about "Operation Peacemaker" – the program in Richmond, California, that pays young men with criminal records a stipend up to a thousand dollars a month to stay out of trouble and away from guns. Some viewers were skeptical about the program.

    ROBERT NOLTON said "you cannot bribe young men into becoming good citizens. I agree with the goal but as usual the path to get there is very flawed. And after nine short months, they are totally transformed? Good luck with that."

    MIKE TOBIAS added "how about being a man by start taking responsibility for your own actions and life! I follow the rules. Where is my reward?"

    Some though the money for the program should be spent elsewhere.

    According to BAHMAN JAB the city of Richmond could "give them a productive job to build roads, paint, clean highways, plant trees, remove trash…then pay them."

    SANDY COX added "maybe if they helped low income people with things like housing, college, job training, they wouldn't have to spend all that money later on rehabilitation projects."

    Other viewers were hopeful the program can work.

    ANNA MARIE wrote "most people are not truly evil, they've often just made bad decisions. Maybe a little positive reinforcement for a temporary period will go a long way. I like it a lot better than the idea of recidivism."

    HEIDI MARTY said "so often it simply comes down to how people react to being notices, cared for, and helped along … perhaps for the first time in their lives."

    SANDY CHRISTIAN BORELLA added "whatever it takes to give young men hope for a different and better way of life. For far too many, there isn't hope, choices, or guidance."

    As always we welcome your comments. Visit us online at PBS dot org slash NewsHour, at Facebook dot com slash newshour, or Tweet us at NewsHour.

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