Mayor Durkan's Obsession with Soundly Punishing Poverty



If petty crimes aren't punished, we all suffer. Most of all, the homeless victims of crimes..


@1 If hunger isn't punished, then we all suffer. Most of all, the hungry people themselves.

See, now we are both assuming that the only way to solve a problem is through punishment.


Once again we see the parallels between conservative democrats and republicans. Holding up relief funds for political and/or personal reasons. #ITFMA


@5: The homeless are continuous victims of crime, not just the rich folks you think are punishing the hungry.


Good Afternoon Charles,
Regardless of LEAD, I agree with Phoebe. I believe the homeless are more prone to being victims of crime and tragedy than the housed. Think about it. They, the homeless are largely "out in the element". I believe the homeless if they are victims of even petty crimes (usually theft) would seek justice and/or redress just as much as the housed and wealthy.

Recently, I discovered my credit and debit cards stolen (a petty crime). Clearly exasperated, I telephoned the CC company/bank immediately. I knew the window (roughly 5 hours) would close quickly for the perps to use either card. Indeed, there were attempts for usage but they were nipped in the bud. I won't be assessed charges on either card, I will get new ones and will basically have been dealt an inconvenience.

Do I have any empathy for the perp? NO! He (presumably) went to the Apple Store vs. QFC or Safeway. Had he gone to the latter, I might have given him an ounce of empathy. But no, I found out he attempted to buy $3000 in electronic equipment. Will he be punished? No, not at all. He won't be found nor arrested. With or w/o LEAD he goes free with impunity.

Where does this lead (excuse the pun) to? Dunno. But, I'm not surprised Mayor Durkan wants as much clear and accurate data as possible regarding the funding of LEAD.


@4: I wouldn't be too concerned, embezzlers who drink and drive typically get caught.


This is a huge story! Why isn’t the stranger giving it more coverage?!?!?


You forgot a corollary. Spending more money being cruel to poor people does not face the same efficiency requirement, because being cruel to poor people is something we do "for their own good."


As I am making my way through this rambling piece I am left with these questions: Should the needy and homeless be responsibility free to the rest of society? Should all, money, resources, facilities, manpower and obligation all flow one-way without any reciprocation in effort and societal participation? What is the incentive system driving the participation from the affected population?

You don’t seem to have a lot to offer in the way of answers, just a lot of convoluted logic, where simpler answers should perhaps be considered.

As uncomfortable as it may be for you, you should start thinking about a mix of carrots and sticks, incentives and rightful punishment for transgression to solve this.


"... you should start thinking about a mix of carrots and sticks, incentives and rightful punishment for transgression to solve this."
That is precisely the principle upon which the LEAD program is based.


Yup. And I, for one, see nothing wrong with this. And frankly I would seriously question the reasoning against this approach.
From the LEED program about page:
"Prosecutors and police officers work closely with case managers to ensure that all contacts with LEAD® participants going forward, including new criminal prosecutions for other offenses, are coordinated with the service plan for the participant to maximize the opportunity to achieve behavioral change."