Bill de Blasio thinks that the best way to handle issues in New York City is by spending money so that the problems simply go away. For a NYC mayor who has taken a very mob-boss approach to many issues, many people are simply used to his way of dealing with things. However, he’s now turned to bribery as a way of getting criminals to show up for their court dates.
The New York Post recently reported that de Blasio has a plan to entice criminals to show up for their court dates: Give them tickets to the NY Mets as well as gift cards.
There’s been a number of problems with criminals not showing up to their court dates. With cash bail being eliminated, too, the Office of Criminal Justice in NYC is trying to get as creative as they can.
The mayor said that it’s a smart policy if it means that small incentives will lead to a justice system that works, including speedier trials. There are quite a few problems with this plan, however.
The city has already acknowledged that they are not sure how much the incentive program is going to cost. Based on a previous program that paid defendants in gift cards to take surveys about their experiences in court, it ended up costing the city around $800,000. This is expected to cost more.
Brian Kolb, who is the State Assembly Minority Leader, is not a fan of this program. He believes that it “Threatens public safety” and ends up becoming a disservice to law-abiding citizens. Kolb is right, too, as it rewards criminals.
Kolb believes that New York Democrats are rolling back laws and making the streets less safe. He believes that this new platform is catering to convicts and protects the hardened criminals.
One of the senior staffers in the Manhattan Criminal Court said, “You’re literally rewarding them” when they commit a crime with this new Mets and gift cards plan.
An NYPD officer in Queens spoke up about the new program, too. “To be rewarded is ludicrous” considering that the suspects already have to be reminded that they have to show up in court.
Bill de Blasio may not have thought this program through entirely. He’s rewarding literally any criminal with tickets or gift cards if they show up to a court date. The Office of Criminal Justice will be coordinating with a criminal justice nonprofit in the city to get tickets to some of the New York Mets games as well as gift cards.
Does the mayor assume that those showing up to court are not going to get any kind of jail or prison sentence? If they go into court and get their New York Mets game tickets, what happens if they have to miss the game because they were found guilty and have to serve time? Will they have special permission to see the game first?
With such “prizes” being available for showing up to court, the city may end up having more people breaking the law simply because they want to get their hands on some gift cards. This is what this program is showing. Law-abiding citizens get nothing. However, those who break the law will get something if they show up for their court date.
The fact that de Blasio doesn’t have a cost on this program, either, is a problem. He apparently doesn’t have a budget in place if rolling out this plan without a cost associated with it isn’t stopping him.
It could cost a million dollars or more – and it can’t possibly save any money. While there are no specifics released yet as to how much value the gift cards will have, they will have to be something high enough to entice people in.
Bill de Blasio has proven time and again that he’s not ready to fix any problem. He just wants to throw money at a problem to see if it goes away on its own. First, he spent millions to send homeless people out of the city so that they weren’t New York’s problem anymore.
Now, he wants to bribe criminals so that they show up to court dates. He probably has a ton of money in his back pocket since he fundraised for so long for the presidency and ended up walking away. However, there’s going to come a time when there’s no more money to throw at a problem. That’s when people will realize that it’s time for a better mayor – one who isn’t going to reward criminals.