Factsheet | December 15, 2015

Cutting Crime by Cutting Child Poverty

How the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for low-income earners helps keep more children out of poverty and away from crime

Studies consistently show that growing up in poverty is a leading risk factor for criminal behavior.

Because our law enforcement leaders see the effects of crime in communities firsthand every day, the members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids agree: Rather than waiting to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate more criminals, more investments should be made that can prevent crime in the first place. The result? Safer communities for residents and law enforcement officers.

Drug abuse and violence are certainly not limited to kids growing up in poverty. But when you see how many poor kids we bring in day after day, and know the officers who risk their lives on the streets, it breaks your heart. Some of this has to be preventable.

Chief William Citty, Oklahoma City

The working-family tax credits of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) lifted 5 million children out of poverty in 2013, more than any other program.

Here’s why:

  1. Growing up in poverty raises the risk of criminal activity down the road.
  2. As poverty rates decrease, so does the risk of future criminal behavior.
  3. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) program are proven ways of reducing child poverty.