The increase in violent crime in the United States over the last two years will continue unless Congress increases investments that help children get the right start in life, said David Kass, executive director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national anti-crime organization.
The Police Executive Research Forum reported today that violent crime rose in double-digit percentages over the past two years, and reverses the declines of the mid-to-late 1990s.
Kass said these investments would keep kids from growing up to become criminals.
"It is no coincidence that the reversal of the crime rate comes on the heels of cuts in federal programs that prevent crime and violence," Kass said.
Congress can reverse that direction next week as it begins deciding what will be funded in the federal budget, Kass said. Lawmakers must pass a crime- prevention agenda that would include $1.5 billion for Head Start and early education child care programs to restore cuts made since 2002, Kass said.
Congress should also enact and fund legislation to expand and improve in- home parent coaching programs that help at-risk families improve their parenting skills and reduce incidents of child abuse and neglect, he added.
More than 3,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and violent crime survivors are members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.