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Investment in Early Childhood Education Will Cut Crime and Save Money | Commentary

Fight Crime reports also highlight the value of voluntary home-visiting programs. These programs pair willing young parents with trained home visitors who reduce child abuse and neglect by helping them understand their children’s health needs, create safer home environments and develop parenting skills.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids’ latest report, “I’m the Guy You Pay Later,” highlights incarceration and taxpayer savings for all 50 states. It also makes a point that’s relevant to law enforcement and everyday citizens alike. Right now we spend about $75 billion every year to lock up criminals in jails and prisons. That’s 10 times the average yearly cost of the preschool proposal.

This is a simple choice: pay for high-quality preschool and early childhood programs for at-risk kids today or pay the costs associated with fighting crime in the coming years.

Rich Stanek is the sheriff of Hennepin County, Minn., and Don Ash is the sheriff of Wyandotte County, Kan.

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