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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Police Back Study Saying That Preschool is Best Crime Preventer

From ABC news:  "The call to make preschool available to more children is getting a boost from police chiefs throughout California, who say it is one of the greatest crime-fighting tools they have seen.  The chiefs cited statistics from a recent study done by the group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids which claims that children left out of preschool are twice as likely to become career criminals.  The study also found that 76 percent of publicly funded preschools in California have waiting lists to get in. In Sacramento County only 44 percent of the eligible children are enrolled, which is under the state average.  The bottom line, according to the police chiefs and many educators, is that the cost for law enforcement to deal with criminal behavior later is a considerably more expensive than spending the money years earlier for pre-school programs. The study said that for every dollar spent on pre-school programs, communities save up to $17 later in the cost of welfare and crime.  'We need to work on the prevention side of law enforcement,' said Sacramento Police Chief Albert Najera. 'The smart way of approaching this, the most economic way of approaching this is through the quality preschool education.'"  [Mark Godsey]

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