We often think of parents and early childhood experts as leading advocates for public investment in preschool programs, but Illinois preschools have a group of vocal advocates who aren’t frequently on the “usual suspects” list: law enforcement. According an article in the Chicago Tribune, law enforcement officials are aware of the direct correlation between the absence of quality pre-K experiences and the likelihood of interaction with the justice system later in life. Members of the law enforcement community have called on the state to restore cuts to the state’s pre-K budget, citing evidence that shows investments in pre-K result in fewer taxpayer dollars spent in the justice system later on.
“Today’s four-year-olds are the future of our communities,” Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim said in the article. “If we’re serious about solving the crime problem, we’ve got to be serious about giving kids the skills they need to grow up to be productive, law-abiding adults – starting with quality preschool.”