Report | September 3, 2015

Police: I’m the Guy You Pay Later

Law enforcement leaders support high-quality early education in order to cut crime and prison costs

Law enforcement leaders have a message for Congress and state lawmakers: Invest now in high-quality early childhood care and education or pay more for the costs of future crime.

Their reasoning is based on research highlighted in the report series, I’m the Guy You Pay Later, which documents the impact of quality early education on crime reduction. Such programs include preschool and voluntary home visiting.

Our jails are filled with people who never graduated from high school. Reaching kids early – before they drop out of school and become involved in crime – is one of the best ways to keep people out of our jails.

Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy, President, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association

Law enforcement leaders across the country have joined the refrain of I’m the Guy You Pay Later, releasing state reports in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. These reports highlight data showing the high cost of corrections in each state, and how much each region could save by investing in high-quality preschool.