DAs Agree: Pay for Pre-K Education Now, or Prison Later

Image courtesy nydailynews.com
Image courtesy nydailynews.com

By Dan Clark

Spending money on pre-kindergarten programs now will inevitably save the tax payers of Pennsylvania money in the long run when they are not paying as much to lock up criminals, according to a report by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.

To drive that point home on Wednesday, District Attorneys Risa Ferman, Montgomery County, Seth Williams, Philadelphia, Jack Whelan, Delaware County, and Tom Hogan, Chester County, joined each other on stage at the Double Tree Hotel in King of Prussia to introduce the report dubbed “We’re The Guys You Pay Later.”

In short, the report states that much more money is spent on prosecuting defendants and locking them up in the county jails and state prisons than is spent on investing in education for children before Kindergarten. Approximately $2 billion is spent on prisons in Pennsylvania, according to the report.

“Pennsylvania jails are full of people serving time for serious and costly crimes. It doesn’t have to be that way—providing at-risk kids with high-quality early learning programs can reduce the costs and impact of crime in the future,” the report states. Ferman said sending her children to a high-quality pre-school when they were younger sent them on the right path in life and society’s problems cannot be fixed by arresting people and locking them away.

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