Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine and nearly 100 law enforcement members from Nebraska want more kids in the state to participate in early education programs to help prevent crime later.
Kleine is part of an organization called Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, an anti-crime organization of more than 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, and prosecutors nationwide who have taken a stance in preventing kids from becoming criminals, and to inform the public of research that supports the role of early education in reducing crime.
“Investing in high-quality early childhood programs is one of the best ways we can take to reduce crime in Nebraska,” said Sheriff Timothy Dunning with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Kleine, Dunning and other members of the organization presented a report Thursday that highlights Nebraska’s need for early learning programs that helps kids both academically and socially, helps cut crime and saves taxpayer dollars by keeping less people out of the system.
Kleine said there needs to be a push in Nebraska, especially before kindergarten, where less than eight percent of at-risk kids have access to high-quality learning programs, and ‘more than 64,000 children under the age of five are at risk of failing at school.’
The organization pushed for more investments and funding in these types of programs, especially considering the challenges prisons in Nebraska are currently facing, like high turnover of correctional officers, overcrowding and violence among inmates.