City Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) acknowledges it's a "pretty radical" idea. But he says the city should consider paying teens identified as being at risk of engaging in violence a monthly stipend to stay out of trouble.
At a City Council meeting today, Jackson said a stipend program in Richmond, CA, in which teens are paid between $300 and $1,000 a month to follow a "life plan" they write with counselors has dramatically reduced that city's murder rate.
The council agreed to hold a hearing on the idea.
Jackson said he began thinking of the idea after seeing "the most disgusting footage I've ever seen in my life" - of that seven-year-old boy being shot on Bowdoin Street.
Jackson said a stipend program would be a meaningful tool that Boston's 50 anti-violence street workers could use to curb problems. He said that while murders are down this year, shootings are up.
Although Jackson did not specify an amount for how much the program would cost, he noted Boston Police is currently on track to spend $60 million on overtime - at least some of which is related to investigations of violent crimes in the neighborhoods where the program would be used.