Brief | December 21, 2022

We Are the Ones You Pay Later

Maine law enforcement leaders urge policymakers to cut crime by investing in high-quality early care and education

Maine’s jails are full of people serving time for serious and costly crimes. Currently, Maine spends over $210 million a year on corrections. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Providing at-risk kids with high-quality early learning opportunities through pre-K, Head Start, and child care programs can reduce the human and fiscal costs of crime in the future.

Many kids are starting school too far behind and never catching up. If we want less crime in our state, we should invest upfront in early learning opportunities, rather than paying the high cost of school failure.

Troy Morton, Sheriff, Penobscot County, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids

Fortunately, research shows that when children receive high-quality early childhood education, it leads to better academic and social outcomes. Voluntary home visiting programs start even earlier, working with at-risk parents during pregnancy and infancy to foster their child’s development and prevent child abuse and neglect.


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