Corrections Secretary: More Funding for Pre-K Will Reduce Crime

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections came to Luzerne County highlight the importance of education when it comes to decreasing crime.

State leaders believe spending more money on pre-kindergarten will save money for the state's prison system which costs about $2 billion to run each year.

"I think most citizens really want kids to have an opportunity to be successful, and I think that when citizens hear that if we invest money in quality early childhood education, we can spend a lot less money on places like SCI Dallas," said Secretary John Wetzel, Department of Corrections.

Wetzel came to the State Correctional Institution-Dallas in Luzerne County to release a report in support of Governor Wolf's budget. It proposes spending $50 million for Pre-K programs across the state.

Ingrid Everett, a Bloomsburg University faculty member who teaches early childhood education classes, was in attendance.

"Having worked with Head Start for a number of years, I've really seen how much you can support children in developing and I've also seen how it can help support the families, too," Everett said.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis is one of the people who support this program. She says she's seeing younger offenders committing more serious crimes.

"We in the district attorney's office and law enforcement in Luzerne County see a lot of young children getting involved in criminal acts, and we want to do more to prevent that and this today, what we stand behind, this is proven that it will keep them from being involved in the criminal justice system," said Salavantis.

The report estimates that a $50 million investment into Pre-K programs now would save about $150 million in our state prisons later.


  • lickerblisters

    What a crock! No child is going to do well in life when they don’t know who either one of their parents are. It’s a cultural thang. Clean up their culture instead!

  • jsrant

    You can save millions if PA would bring back ole “sparky”. How much does it cost the taxpayers to house a death row inmate? Maybe these killers like these 4 kids who killed the grandfather will think twice if they know they will actually get the death penalty.

  • yabbadabbadude

    They have no idea if it’ll work or not – they’re just itching to spend 50 million dollars of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. Kind of like “shovel-ready jobs”, but on a smaller scale.

  • nasca1856

    Yeah, I’m sure the bruthas will stop knocking off convenient stores in 20 years when they recall their lessons from Pre-K.

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