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At Least $10K Awaits Criminals Who Want to Move From Here

Mayor of Clarksdale, Miss., is ponying up his own cash to clear the city of criminal element
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2019 11:00 AM CDT
Then-State Rep. Chuck Espy, D-Clarksdale, is seen in Jackson, Miss., on June 29, 2015.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(Newser) – Live in Clarksdale, Miss., but want to relocate? Ever dealt drugs, belonged to a gang, or aspired to do any of the above? The city's mayor has a deal for you. FOX13 reports on Clarksdale's "five-point crime-fighting plan," and one of those points is telling criminals who can't change their ways to leave, dangling cash from Mayor Chuck Espy's own wallet to help them make the move. "They may be in the wrong environment," Espy told reporters Monday of potential candidates for the relocation funds, per Newsweek. "I will put money on the line to assist those type of people to move out of the city." He adds in a statement: "It is better for you to leave our city than bring havoc upon a community interested in positive growth."

WREG reports Espy has offered up to $10,000 of his own cash for the kitty, and he's appealing to local businesses and other philanthropists to donate to the cause as well. He stresses he's not just handing off the criminal element in his city to others, noting that those who've been in trouble with the law in Clarksdale simply "might not have the good opportunities that they need in this city." For perps willing to live a life on the straight and narrow in Clarksdale, the city and police department are working with a local pastor to help them get back on their feet, including offering courses on etiquette and job skills. Whether or not correlation implies causation with the city's new approach to crime, FOX13 notes that there were 12 homicides in Clarksdale last year; this year so far there's been just one. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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