Uber-liberal New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is spending $3.5 million worth of tax payer dollars to keep convicted repeat-offenders out of jail.
The costs are associated with sending these habitual perpetrators to psychological ‘interventions’ and spending as little as one day undergoing ‘motivational interviewing,’ according to the New York Post.
The program is designed to for people convicted of misdemeanors, which can include assault and other violent crimes. However, it also includes individuals who had felony arrests and pled down to misdemeanors.
Advocates say a brief stint at Rikers won’t help the underlying issues plaguing these mostly low-level habitual offenders, whereas treatment can put them on the path to “recovery and wellness.”
The NYPD sergeants union has different feelings about it, calling the program “insanity,” according to the Post.
“This will have a negative impact to people of the City of New York because they will become the victims of more misdemeanor crime,” union chief Ed Mullins said. “I think we should create a new bumper sticker: ‘New York City, the gateway to misdemeanor crimes.’ ”
The program, called newStart, has also been condemned by Staten Island assemblywoman and mayoral challenger Nicole Malliotakis. “A tremendous amount of money that could be used for services to improve the lives of everyday New Yorkers,” she said. “Once again the mayor’s putting those who break the law ahead of taxpayers’ interests.”
A City Hall spokeswoman said that the program would be paid for with seized criminal assets.