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Moving public assistance payments from cash to plastic cuts crime, research shows

Counties that change their delivery of public assistance benefits from paper checks to an electronic benefit transfer system -- using debit cards -- see their street crimes drop significantly, according to a study. The study is the first to empirically examine whether the introduction of an EBT system, which reduces the amount of cash circulated on the streets, will disrupt criminal activities that rely on the ease and relative anonymity of cash transactions.
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