Let’em go?

This week’s Newsweek has a story on an out-of-the-box approach to low level drug dealers:

In a 2004 experiment in High Point, N.C., Kennedy got the cops to try a new way of cleaning up the corners. They rounded up some young dealers; showed a videotape of them dealing drugs; and readied cases, set for indictment, that would have meant hard time in prison. Then they let the kids go. Working with their families, the police helped the dope dealers find job training and mentors. The message, which spread quickly through the neighborhood, was that the cops would give kids a second chance—but come down aggressively if they didn’t take it. The police won back trust they had lost long ago (if they ever had it). After four years, police in High Point had wiped the drug dealers off the corner. They compared the numbers to the prior four years and found a 57 percent drop in violent crime in the targeted area.

[via: jointogether.org]