You can thank New York City Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio for this one! Newly released inmates from Riker's Island have been given debit cards and they're being caught using them in attempt to buy booze, smokes, and other products that are not food or transportation.
The project is city-funded and was part of a program that would grant released inmates two separate $25 debit/gift cards, in hopes they would be used to get the person back on their feet and motivate them to do better, show up to court hearings, get back on track. Instead, store owners are reporting that inmates are attempting to buy booze, vapes and smokes, and other items according to a report on the NY Post.
Some of the stores simply aren't accepting the gift/debit cards as they allegedly have no chip, so the cashiers can't tell if those cards are legitimate or not.
The story was the same at City Sliquors, also along the Rikers bus route, where ex-inmates “didn’t seem to understand why” their payment wasn’t accepted, the owner of the spot said.
“Usually we don’t accept it because we don’t know where it came from with no chip, it may bounce,” he added.
The report states "booze has been tough to obtain for the newly released, vendors reported that other goodies like Juul pods and tobacco products were within reach."
To make the program look even worse, one store employee named Ahmed spoke out, saying that he doesn't see anyone using the cards to buy food.
“Yet to see one person use it to buy food,” Ahmed, a worker at the Plaza Deli Grocery, noted.
In addition to the Metrocards and cash, plans are also in the works to set up newly released inmates with burner phones, the Post reported Saturday.
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Burner phones? You know, the phones that criminals throw away once they make a deal on a call. This way, they can't be traced. They just get another phone. You have to admit, they've got a great ability to memorize phone numbers like we did back in the day before cell phones remembered everything for us!
Other goodies will include winter coats, Steve Madden shoes and Mets tickets. The programs are being run by city-funded non-profits and the whole initiative will cost $500,000, officials said.
“It’s a sad state of affairs when the city bends over backward to reward criminals instead of protecting the victims of their crimes,” one law-enforcement source told The Post. “What’s next? Free limo service back home?”
Winter coats are fine, but Steve Madden shoes and Mets tickets? What's wrong with some cheap shoes? And well, the Mets stink, so those tickets were probably $1 anyway. No one wants to watch the Mets - let's just be honest with that one.
This program has good intentions, but the people running it are clearly somewhat stupid.
Provide people with a bus pass, affordable housing, job training, and the tools they truly need to get back on their feet.
You know what this program does? Let's people buy things they don't need so they end up right back in prison.
You know where these guys are going? BACK TO JAIL - because the program SUCKS and does nothing to set people up with a proper life-changing moment to secure them for the future.
This is a Democrat program that looks good on the surface, but it's absolute trash.
How does giving someone free Mets tickets put them down the right path of getting a job and starting their life over?
It doesn't and the Mets suck anyway.