To Fight Rising Murder Rate, More Cities Find, Mentor and Pay Likely Shooters

Advance Peace Fresno attempts to steer gang members who commit the most shootings away from crime, but opponents say stipends send the wrong message


By Zusha Elinson | Photographs by Alex Welsh for The Wall Street Journal
Photo: The WSJ

Earlier this year, a 17-year-old named Devrick Hill was arrested on suspicion of firing multiple firearms out of a car in a conflict between gang members.

He was also recruited for a program that provides mentoring, job training, and a stipend of up to $1,000 a month in exchange for meeting goals that steer them away from violence, like completing classes or getting a job.

The program, called Advance Peace Fresno, is trying to reverse a rising murder rate by offering fellowships to people identified as most likely to be involved in shootings.

Nationwide, homicides rose nearly 30% in 2020 from the year earlier, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data. More cities are trying to address the problem by focusing on small groups of people responsible for outsize amounts of gun violence. In Oakland, Calif., criminologists found in a 2019 report that one half of 1% of the city’s population was responsible for the majority of shootings.

Publish : 2021-10-27 18:38:00

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