Law enforcement officials across the state say Illinois will pay more in the long run if it makes cuts to pre-schools. Tyler Edmonds, the Union County state’s attorney, says children with bad home lives are at risk of going to jail or needing welfare in the future, and the time they spend in pre-schools can help them build the social skills they wouldn’t get at home.
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“I can tell from personal stories of people I went to school with and when I was a small child you could make a pretty good guess as to which children were going to end up having encounters with the criminal justice system,” Edmonds says. Edmonds says more than 800 Illinois pre-schools have closed their doors in the last three years.