San Francisco Launches Program Targeting Violent Criminals with Money, ‘Life Coach’

Is San Francisco about to pay criminals not to commit crimes? (Photo: San Francisco Police Facebook)

The City of San Francisco announced this week a plan to launch a program that uses cash incentives and mentorship relationships to encourage violent criminals not to commit crimes.

Several other American cities have adopted similar programs, and the results have been mixed. Some cities have seen a marked decline in violent crime while others have experienced little change.

In San Francisco, the program has been dubbed the “San Francisco’s Dream Keeper Fellowship,” and the pilot program will target 10 people who program directors believe are at risk of committing violent crime, according to NBC Bay Area.

Critics of these and similar programs balk at using taxpayer dollars to bribe violent felons, but proponents say the money is part of a much larger system designed to stop violence before it starts.

SEE ALSO: San Jose City Leaders Disclose How They Will Punish Uninsured Gun Owners 

“Paying criminals to not shoot is an enticing headline, but it is a significantly inaccurate description of the program,” David Muhammad told NBC. “The primary intervention is a positive and trusting relationship with what we call an intensive life coach.”

Muhammad is the Executive Director of the National Institute of Criminal Justice Reform, an advocacy organization that seeks to “reduce incarceration and violence.”

Those involved in San Francisco’s program will receive $300 per month for being involved, Muhammad says. They’ll also be eligible to receive an additional $200 per month for achieving certain outcomes.

The Second Amendment community’s response to these programs has varied. The National Rifle Association published an article in 2018 expressing support for programs that intervene in the lives of criminals because they target gun violence without attacking gun owners. The Dream Keeper Fellowship and similar initiatives might waste taxpayer money, but unlike other policies aimed at curbing “gun violence,” they don’t try to restrict lawful gun ownership.

SEE ALSO: Chicago PD Forms ‘Gun Investigations Team’ to Combat Violence, Meanwhile More Inmates Were Released this Year

Others argue that despite the short-term success of these programs, they promote the wrong incentive structure and will ultimately fail. Joel Shults, a retired police chief in Colorado, made this argument in a recent dialogue posted on Police1.

“What gets backward in the money-for-not-murdering plan is that the cash reward can only be earned if you are already an offender or associated with a criminal gang,” he said. “Many businesses around the world have been paying people not to smash their windows or burn their buildings or break their kneecaps. Seems to be effective in the short term, while buying trouble in the long term.”

Strangely, gun-control groups are often the biggest proponents of “community violence intervention” programs even though these programs, if successful, would undercut their gun control agenda. Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords have published violence intervention pages on their websites, and President Joe Biden included $5 billion for these programs in the American Jobs Plan.

Only time will tell if this latest attempt has success in The City by the Bay.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

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  • DELCO September 11, 2021, 7:28 am

    Nothing from the left surprises me anymore. Hey please don’t hold up my store because if you do you won’t receive your monthly payment.

  • Johne September 10, 2021, 3:45 pm

    Wow. I think every day there is nothing so insane that California could come up with that would shock me. Every day there insanity proves me wrong. This has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of.

    “Lets pay our criminals not to hurt us”. Wow. Where is that 10.0 when you need it.

  • John Boutwell September 10, 2021, 1:18 pm

    Paying criminals not to commit crime will not work, paying the Taliban not to commit acts of terror did not work.
    Bringing that strand of DNA to an end will.

  • Big Al 45 September 10, 2021, 12:36 pm

    While possibly effective, (we won’t know for quite awhile) it still sends the message that crime “pays”.
    Is this not similar to the ‘Universal Basic Income’ touted by the Left???
    Money for nothing?
    So, from a strictly ‘Moral’ standpoint, society will now not only wrongly tolerate but even PAY criminals?!?!?!?!?
    Do the S.F. people not see the very immoral complications of this?????
    This is the scheme of an immoral society, caving to an immoral lot.
    It won’t take long for some to demand more, and then make threats of higher levels of violence if their demands aren’t met.
    Stupid wishful thinking of a better society.

  • Mark September 10, 2021, 11:38 am

    Hmmm. Going to hook those violent criminals up with an “intensive life coach” huh? Well, that might work. I had an intensive life coach — in fact I had two. But in MY day they were called “parents”. And it worked for me. I’ve never committed any violent crime.

    BUT, couldn’t we get the same result if we stopped all the government giveaway programs that subsidize single-parenthood? Instead of giving more money to someone who has no spouse and has more kids, take some away to make having more kids NOT a good thing until you’re in a stable and responsible situation? OR, maybe we penalize those “studs” who go around having bunches of kids by bunches of women and don’t support any of them.

    We’ve managed to nearly destroy the nuclear family with our “social safety-net/hammock” of the last 50 or 60 years. Look what it’s wrought. How about we take a new look at it and get back to basic personal responsibility?

    Oh and that would of course include telling violent prisoners that prison means you’re locked up with a bunch of other undesirable people, and if a new illness comes by that happens to infect all sorts of people; well, that’s part of the price you pay for your crime; we are NOT letting you out to commit more crimes in order to protect you from being infected. Stay clean (physically, mentally, emotionally, and legally) and you’ll minimize your risks because you won’t be confined with a bunch of anti-social psychopathic animals.

  • Tom T September 10, 2021, 10:38 am

    They will still be stealing from the citizens of San Francisco, just by a different route and with the complicity of the San Francisco City government.

  • Gerald September 10, 2021, 10:33 am

    Oh good! Incentive for SF’s thugs to rob EACH OTHER!!!

  • John September 10, 2021, 9:51 am

    You just can’t make this stuff up. Hilarious

  • Rex September 10, 2021, 9:23 am

    Brilliant! Crime pays with dividends.

  • Russ September 10, 2021, 8:25 am

    Getting paid to be a criminal and getting paid more if you don’t get arrested. Doesn’t that just make criminals work harder to not get caught?? The stupidity of liberals, the state of californistan, and Sam Francisco has never been more apparent than with this program. Here’s a novel idea, why not pay people to work, yeah I know silly me. Wake up America.

  • Yep yep September 10, 2021, 7:43 am

    What a joke!! I get paid for going to work.

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