With all that has been written about Janet Reno, there have been few references to her recognition that criminal behavior often (but not always) has its start in communities that have a lower economic population and limited resources. However, Reno went further. She understood that an individual’s involvement in crime too often had its beginnings at birth.
In an article in the Florida Bar Journal in March 1990, Reno wrote, “Common sense dictates that unless we make a major investment in our children up front, we will pay far more for prisons and the cost of crime by the time these children turn 18.”
Almost 27 years later, we have failed to follow this advice, and our prisons bulge. Now it is also of interest that the research of Dr. James Heckman, a Nobel laureate in economics, and others confirms the value of such a major investment involving our youngest children and their families, long before they enter kindergarten.
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Wil Blechman, MD,