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Checking in on a contested gun violence reduction program implemented in several CA cities




Gang interventionist Everett Bell, hands out peace message ribbons to passing motorists at the South Central Los Angeles location of the death of junior football star Dannie Farber Jr. who was mistaken for a rival gang member in Compton, California on May 28, 2011.
Gang interventionist Everett Bell, hands out peace message ribbons to passing motorists at the South Central Los Angeles location of the death of junior football star Dannie Farber Jr. who was mistaken for a rival gang member in Compton, California on May 28, 2011.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

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A few cities in California have been experimenting with a program called Advance Peace which is trying a new approach to reducing gun-related violence: social services and stipends.

The idea behind the program is to end the cycle of retaliatory, often gang-related, violence by helping the young men who are most likely to be involved. The program matches its “fellows” with  a mentor who can help them develop their goals. The controversial aspect of the program is its stipend. For example, in Sacramento, a fellow who’s been with the program for six months can become eligible for a stipend of up to a $1,000 a month.

Advocates say the this pales in comparison with the cost of dealing with a homicide in a city, and is a worthwhile investment in marginalized youth. But critics see this as an attempt to pay gang members to not commit violence.

The program is currently being tried out in Richmond and Sacramento, and will soon be launched in Stockton, as well as two non-California cities, which will be announced March of next year.

We check in on the program.

Guests:

DeVone Boggan, chief executive officer of Advance Peace, a nonprofit that aims to reduce gun violence, recently established in several CA cities

Angie Wolf, chief program officer for the National Council on Crime & Delinquency, a nonprofit research organization