“I'm the guy you pay later.” A southern Illinois prosecutor is trying to persuade lawmakers, in terms they can understand, to boost early childhood education programs. Union County state's attorney Tyler Edmonds is co-chair of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois. There's something funny about being a prosecutor in your home town, putting away people you knew when you were little kids.
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“Unfortunately, when you start school without the social skills, without the math skills, without the reading skills” that preschool can provide, Edmonds said, “you very quickly fall behind. You very quickly develop anti-social behaviors. We can spend dimes and, hopefully, steer them on the right path, rather than spend thousands upon thousands of dollars” in the police, court, and prison systems. Edmonds and other law-and-order types are here in force, bringing their message of helping the littlest Illinoisans, so they can become employed, law-abiding Illinoisans.