Study: Detroit crime rate would drop with early childhood investment
By putting more money into early childhood education in Detroit, the crime rate would go down, according to a recent study.
Jose Diaz of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation conducted the study”Cost Savings of School Readiness Per Additional At-Risk Child in Detroit and Michigan” where the findings appear. The research was commissioned by the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and it suggests that investing in early childhood education could cut Detroit’s crime rate and save taxpayers in the state millions of dollars, according to a story on the study by The Detroit News. The story says that Detroit taxpayers would save around $96,000 for each child who was enrolled in a quality early education program and Michigan taxpayers would save $47,000 for each child.
The figure was derived from adding cost savings to special education, public assistance, childcare subsidies, the victims of crime and the criminal justice system. The majority of the savings would come from the criminal justice system.
These findings prompted Diaz and law enforcement officials to call on the Legislature to invest more dollars in early childhood education to help halt the alarmingly high crime rate in Detroit.
At the present time, only 4 percent of prisoners in Michigan under the age of 20 years old graduated from high school.
Learning begins at birth, which is why early education programs are so important. These programs provide an integral foundation for young minds and prepare children for success at school and in life. At-risk children who don’t receive high quality early education are more likely to drop out of school and more likely to be arrested for a violent crime.
I think investing in early childhood education programs is a cost-effective way to promote positive development of children and get to the root causes of high crime in the city. I hope that Detroit can see early childhood education as an initiative that could finally pay off and cut crime.