City Desk

D.C. Summer Jobs Program: Payday Muggings Continue

paydayMetropolitan Police Department Assistant Chief Diane Groomes tells City Desk that District kids enrolled in the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) are still getting mugged on paydays. So far, five kids have been mugged on paydays and a sixth was mugged the day after a payday. The program started with knives and thefts. Washington City Paper recently reported that muggings and violence against jobs program kids became a common theme last summer. Officials had blamed the muggings on the fact that the kids were required to wear the now-infamous Mayor's Conservation Corps T-shirts.

Groomes isn't sure if the kids who were mugged this year were wearing T-shirts. She has recently suggested that the kids remain indoors during their lunch hours on paydays. Of the five muggings that have taken place on paydays, all of them occurred at 12:30 p.m.

*file photo by Darrow Montgomery.

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  • downtown rez

    Pity the Latino immigrant, who can't change his (or her) face, and who is even more often robbed as he (or she) walks home (or to the next job!) With cash in pocket each payday Friday.
    The outrage is more appropriately focused on the robbers than the shirts (or faces) of those robbed.
    What's next? Forcing food delivery companies and taxis to strip advertising from their employee's cars?
    Maybe I should have sued Dominos pizza for putting a teen-aged me in risk.

  • Rick Mangus

    This is a shame, kids doing something to better their life and work, being robbed by some worthless thug(s) who will never amount to shit in life and will always be a burden to our society!

  • David Hoffman

    DC's youth should NEED to wear a t-shirt that advertises for the Mayor in order for them to get a job. We can do better than this.

    In my opinion, DC's jobs programs are not run the best they could be. There have been reports of RAIDING of funds that were used for programs that actually work, and money was taken by DC's Director of Employment Services (Joseph Walsh) and used for something else.

    We're still not sure what he is using the city's money for. No one ever has any specifics when asked. We always get the same line, I'll get some facts and get back to you. We're watching, and we're waiting, and we never get the facts. We're not stupid. We're keeping track of the number of times we're told the same line, someone shakes our hand, and tells us everything will be fine.

    Recent audits of DC's jobs programs were disgraceful to say the least. Why does the director responsible for this continue to keep his job? Are we getting four more years of these type of RESULTS as evidenced in the videos? Results can go both ways. Change can go both ways - for the better or the worse. All these people in the videos can't be lying. Why do DC voters let their children be treated this way? Why do DC voters tolerate their jobs programs being run so poorly? We can do better! Here are some videos for DC businesses and voters to consider. Please vote responsibly.

  • Dave

    Direct Deposit should help?

  • downtown rez

    Dave- They have it. They're being forced to take their atm cards to a machine.
    By the way, my back of the envelope math makes the risk to be a 1 in 200,000 chance of being robbed for wearing a conservation corpse shirt on any given week. My rough math is- 5 robbed / 18,000 registered * 5 pay weeks. There may have been more than 5 pay weeks.
    How does this compare to the average robbery rate?

  • Facts

    There may have been five robberies, but the youth in the Conservation Corps program aren't required to wear blue t-shirts this year.

    I'm not sure why the City Paper is obsessed with trying to blame violence and crime on a uniform (or more broadly on the Summer Youth Employment Program).

    The sad reality is that there are many bad seeds in this town who would rather rob someone of their hard-earned money than to sweat it out themselves.

  • DCDem

    No matter how you want to minimize the probability of being target, human beings are being victimized in no small part because of a shirt they are being forced to wear. And the ease of identifying them as they make withdrawals. I guess, using a certain person's math, if only one gets killed, that would be an "acceptable" loss, in the big picture.

    This is the Fenty way of thinking. We are fortunate that the majority around town still have a shred of humanity left.

    Just saying.

  • lala

    Well my son was one of the kids robbed on his lunch break and they do have to wear the shirts but I also warned my son the dangers of ATM the good thing about it he left his check card at home and they only got him for $18 but they left a scar on his soul.

  • http://ABF ABF

    lala, I am glad your son is ok...and you can't be fired for wearing the shirt so I would not have my child wear it exspecially since it could mean danger!

  • downtown rez

    The most recently calculated odds of being killed in a meteor strike are also 1 in 200,000. Just saying.
    I was once robbed because someone saw my cell phone, so I guess I shouldn't carry one? Just asking.

  • Ward 6 Resident

    In time we will find out that the robbers are DYRS absconders.

    The council member with oversight responsibilities for DYRS, Tommy Wells, will schedule a roundtable hearing after the primaries with supporters of the DYRS system as prominent guests who will provide testimony on the need for hugs and love for DYRS residents. The hearing will end and like all of Wells's oversight hearings, nothing more will be heard from him until the next hearing on whatever topic happens to make the headlines.

  • sedcdude

    WOW, so reminiscent of the early 80s before PCP, Crakk, HIP HOP, Dot Com and EQUITY generated profits were the means!!!

    Can you say REPEAT!

  • danvironmentalist

    i asked a contact at the DDOE about the MCC program this year....due to the fact that they are NOT wearing printed tees (and are only required to wear a plain white t-shirt) there has not been one reported mugging of an MCC kid this summer. seems like a lesson was learned and DDOE made the right call.

  • tired

    Not only are the kids being rob. The credit union that handles the kids payroll are nickel and diming them. first withdrawal free then after that they are charged $5.00

  • Stuart Thomas

    that's big shame..even kids are not aparted from this...