Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley and other Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California members participated in individual meetings with over 20 key policymakers and administration officials.
“It is an honor to have so many dedicated law enforcement officials with us today because they understand that we must implement proactive and effective strategies today to prevent crime from happening tomorrow,” said Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California State Director Barrie Becker. “Getting kids prepared for school and keeping them in that classroom and on track to graduate are two of the most effective ways to keep our streets and communities safe.”
Representing law enforcement leaders across the state, members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California called on both Republican and Democratic legislators to restore state funding for programs scientifically proven to steer kids away from crime, such as high-quality early education, and to prevent dropouts by reducing out-of-school suspensions and expulsions.
Research shows that kids who receive high-quality early education and care are more likely to graduate from high school and less likely to ever become involved in crime. Yet over $54 million in cuts to half- and full-day preschool were enacted in 2012, which resulted in over 12,500 low-income 3- and 4-year-olds being denied access to state-funded preschool. Over the past two years, preschool funding has been cut by over $130 million. Studies also show that students who are suspended or expelled are more likely to be held back a grade, drop out, and turn to crime.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California members also urged lawmakers to support two bills on school discipline reform, including AB 420, a bill authored by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson and co-sponsored by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California, that would limit extreme uses of “disruption or willful defiance” as grounds for suspensions.
Participating members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California included:
Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson
Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood
Solano County District Attorney Don du Bain
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley
Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig
Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach
Ceres Police Chief Art de Werk
Signal Hill Police Chief Michael Langston
Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus
Alameda (Ret.) Police Chief Burnham Matthews
Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Chief Scott Seaman
Griffin Dix, Ph.D., Victim Advocate
Marc Klaas, Victim Advocate
To review Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California’s complete 2013 legislative agenda, or to arrange an interview with a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California, please contact Meghan Moroney at 415-450-1913 .