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Early childhood program aims to keep kids from becoming criminals
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Keeping people out of a jail cell is something that starts at an early age according to some of the people who know best about crime prevention.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller and other sheriffs and prosecutors today sent a letter to Congress asking it to implement a $99 billion state and federal early childhood education partnership proposed by President Obama.
"Overall I think our community has said, we're tired of this, and we would like to see a different path and I think this program here is a good start to that path," says Fuller.
Congressman Fred Upton says it's something he would support.
"We've been consumed by a lot of different issues, this is one that it seems like it really could have bipartisan support to move forward," says Upton.
Law enforcement officials also released a study which found using the money for early education would reduce the number of people behind bars in Michigan by 4,000 a year, saving the state $200 million every year.
"Currently we spend more money at the tail end of education in the later years of high school than we do at the front end. If we can make that paradigm shift, change that, the proof is in the research," says K.P. Pelloran with the Fight Crime Invest In Kids organization.
And Pelloran says the research shows that little bit of help at the beginning can change where someone's life ends up.
There are currently bills being worked on in the House and Senate to bring the issue to a vote.