The good news is that there is a better way. High-quality child care can thwart that plan. The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project reported that, at the age of 27, participants who had been at-risk children and who had participated in a high-quality preschool were 5 times less likely to be "frequent offenders" than children who did not attend a high-quality preschool. Additionally, those who participated in the high-quality program achieved a 44% higher high school graduation rate and were 26% less likely to have received government financial assistance (welfare, food stamps, etc.).
The number crunchers went to work and figured out that the financial return-on-investment was about $16 for every dollar spent on the child care program. Michigan's "Fight Crime: Invest in Kids" program just announced their support of the decision of the Governor and state lawmakers "for the $6 million funding increase over last year to support high-quality early education as a critical strategy to reduce crime, lower prison costs, and save taxpayers money". Hopefully other states will "get it" too.
Of course, those of us who provide care, realize that the money is nothing compared to the positive impact on the lives of these children. So...to all of you who provide high-quality child care....well done, thank you, and keep up the good work! It truly does make a difference.