A new study says the key to reducing crime in Illinois is getting students to their high school graduation day. The report from the Alliance for Excellent Education says Illinois could save $844 million a year in crime costs if the number of men graduating high school increased by 5 percentage points. The Alliance’s Bill DeBaun says the majority of inmates in state and federal prisons do not have a high school diploma.
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“We still have persistent gaps in achievement and performance between students of color and students in poverty and their peers,” DeBaun said. “And these are individuals that we also see disproportionately represented in the nation’s justice system.” Illinois is near the top of the list in terms of potential savings, which the report estimates to be $18.5 billion nationally. DeBaun says increasing graduation rates would also reduce the incidences of certain crimes, particularly assault and larceny.