Detroit-Area Sheriff: My Jails Are Bursting at the Seams

Detroit-Area Sheriff: My Jails Are Bursting at the Seams

New study shows that investing in early childhood education can save Detroit’s taxpayers about $96,000 per child.

(Photo by Shawn Wilson)

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon wants Michigan to invest in education. “We’re all winners when we can see our kids in a cap and gown instead of an orange jumpsuit,” Napoleon said, joining other Detroit-area law enforcement officials to discuss the findings of a new study, “Cost Savings of School Readiness Per Additional At-Risk Child in Detroit and Michigan.”

The study suggests investing in early childhood education could save taxpayers millions by steering kids away from crime — and found that taxpayers save a lot of money when children are enrolled in early childhood education. According to the Detroit News, savings for taxpayers in the city are likely about $96,000 per child, and in the state overall, taxpayers would save $47,000.

That figure was derived from tallying cost savings to special education, child care subsidies, public assistance, the criminal justice system and crime victims, among other factors. Most of the savings would be from the criminal justice system, the study found.

Jose Diaz of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, which conducted the study, said, ”Investing in early education makes economic sense in a tangible way.” Echoing pro-pre-K mayors like New York’s Bill de Blasio and Boston’s Marty Walsh, Diaz added that kids who are prepared for kindergarten are better poised for successes later in life.

“We’ve tried everything, and my jails are still bursting at the seams,” Napoleon said. “It’s time to realize we can’t arrest and prosecute our way out of this problem.”

According to Napoleon, only 4 percent of prisoners in Michigan have a high school diploma.

Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Follow Jenn .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: detroitpublic schoolsprisons

×
Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×
×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 652 other sustainers such as:

  • Dina in San Francisco, CA at $60/Year
  • Anonymous at $10/Month
  • Andrew in Philadelphia, PA at $5/Month

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $10 or $5/Month

    Next City notebook

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    The 21 Best Solutions of 2021 special edition magazine

  • Donate $40 or $10/Month

    Brave New Home by Diana Lind