Proof Points: Quality Early Education and Crime Prevention

Feb 14, 2013, 11:01 ET from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids


WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, child advocates are cheering the President's support for quality early education to improve the lives of at-risk children.  But the truly big news -- to everyone who cares about the safety of American communities -- is that quality early education is a proven tool for fighting crime. 

  • Research shows that getting at-risk kids into high-quality early education programs can help cut violent crime, reduce prison costs and save taxpayer dollars.  
  • A long-term study of Chicago's Child-Parent Centers found that at-risk kids who did not participate in this high-quality early education program were 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18.  In addition, by age 26, individuals who did not participate in the program were 27 percent more likely to have been arrested for a felony and 39 percent more likely to have spent time in jail or prison.
  • The Chicago Child-Parent Centers program cut crime, welfare and other costs so much that it returned to society more than $11 for every $1 invested, with $5 of these benefits due to reduced crime costs. This is a return on investment that we cannot afford to overlook with today's tight budgets.
  • There's no substitute for tough law enforcement, but we must do more to establish and improve programs that prevent at-risk kids from ever becoming criminals. Either we pay on the front end by providing them a solid chance to succeed, or we pay a lot more for their failure. 
  • Providing more at-risk kids with quality early learning opportunities will help us prevent crime and reduce burdensome prison costs for years to come.

FIGHT CRIME: INVEST IN KIDS is a national anti-crime organization of police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, other law enforcement leaders and violence survivors with over 5,000 members nationwide.

SOURCE Fight Crime: Invest in Kids