At a recent budget hearing, a state senator asked, "If you were to advise us as to an investment that we should be making in another agency, in another part of government, that would impact what you do, change the outcome of what you do, what would you recommend?" My answer was easy: early-childhood education programs. As I see it, every time we talk about corrections reform, it really must begin with the realization that improving the chances for children, especially those in our most disadvantaged communities, is not just a great investment financially, but our responsibility and the true answer to improving criminal justice in America. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a nonprofit, bipartisan, national anti-crime organization, recently released a report documenting how Gov. Wolf's proposed $120 million increase for prekindergarten programs could boost high school graduation rates and, ultimately, reduce the number of people incarcerated in Pennsylvania. Further, the report says that investing in Pre-K now could save taxpayers more than $350 million.
June 8, 2015, 12:00 — 2:00 P.M.