Merced County District Attorney Larry D. Morse II traveled to Sacramento this week to make an unusual request of elected officials: invest in kids today to prevent crime tomorrow. Citing research and data, Morse made a strong case for increased investments in evidence-based solutions such as after-school programs, dropout prevention, and home visiting programs to keep communities safe and secure.
“The best long term public safety strategy for California is one that invests in after school programs, early child care and prevention of abuse. I am honored to serve as a member of the state Board of Directors of Fight Crime/Invest in Kids as we lobby lawmakers to support evidence based policies to keep kids out of the criminal justice system. Violent crime has come down in recent years while high graduation rates have increased. That is a testament to the success of programs supported by Fight Crime/Invest in Kids,” Morse said.
Morse has been a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids since 2007, and has been a member of the state Board of Directors since 2015.
The trip was funded and coordinated by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national anti-crime organization comprised of over 5,000 district attorneys, sheriffs, police chiefs and victim advocates.
“Law enforcement leaders and crime survivors from all over California make this trip annually because they know that keeping youth engaged in school and on track for graduation is essential to keeping California safe and prosperous.” said Brian Lee, California State Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members met with key policymakers, legislative staff, and administration officials on Tuesday. Topics for discussion included a funding increase for the state’s After School Education & Safety (ASES) Program, a home visiting program which would help prevent child abuse and neglect, and proven strategies designed to help improve school climate and reduce suspensions.