CBS 3: Local DA’s: “Pay Now for Pre-K or Pay Later for Crime”

By Jim Melwert

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (CBS) — There was a show of support Wednesday morning for the expansion of “Pre-K” and early childhood education, as advocates were joined by the district attorneys from Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester Countries at the Double Tree Hotel in King of Prussia.

Among the speakers was Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. He says studies show money can be spent on children now when they’re young, or…

“Or they’ll have to deal with me as a prosecutor later,” Hogan says, “when they’ve taken the wrong steps in life, when they haven’t had the right support and they’re in the criminal justice system, and that’s too late.”
Hogan compares quality pre-K education to immunizations.

“When we’re out with police, you will run into three or four-year-old kids that are in a family, and the police will say to you, based on their background, they’re going to end up in the criminal justice system someday.”
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams says study after study shows one of the best ways to prevent crime is quality early childhood education.

“People don’t expect DAs talking about early childhood education, like ‘What are you a social worker?’ I am the social worker of last resort,” he says, “I am the prosecutor.”

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