Letters to Lawmakers | December 19, 2018

Maine's 129th Legislature Should Invest in High-Quality Early Education and Care to Reduce Crime

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Maine members sign letter to incoming state legislators and Governor-Elect Mills

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Maine members congratulate the new and returning state legislators and Governor-Elect on their recent victories. As you do this important work, we hope you will keep in mind that the strength and safety of our communities in the future are often grounded in the priorities and investments that you will be making during the 129th Legislature.

Join us in our collective commitment to provide high-quality early care and education that is accessible to all of Maine’s youngest children.

This includes strengthening three of Maine’s core early care and education programs: public preschool, Head Start, and home visiting, as well as incentivizing more high-quality child care for working parents all across our state.

Research clearly shows high-quality early care and education for at-risk kids not only can reduce their likelihood of committing a crime later in life, but also provides far greater savings than their cost. Economists Enrico Moretti and Lance Lochner studied the relationship over time between changes in graduation rates and crime. They concluded that a 10 percentage-point increase in graduation rates-going from 70 percent to 80 percent, for example—reduces murder and assault rates by about 20 percent.

We urge you to prioritize these investments shown by research to give kids the right start in life and help keep them on track while saving taxpayers money.

Along with the letter, legislators were provided the new Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Maine research brief, We Are the Ones You Pay Later.

Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis and a young student at the Washington County Community College's Early Learning Program.

Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis and a young student at the Washington County Community College’s Early Learning Program.

States

  1. Maine