Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An ounce of prevention and all that

I know my state has no money. I know something has to be done to address that. I know that my governor and legislature only consider one side of the ledger and will only make cuts. I am frustrated beyond belief that they will not even consider raising any tax, eliminating any tax credits or incentives, or basically anything that might cause more money to come into the state's coffers. I find it so frustrating because there is a dogged unwillingness to think about the fact that maybe, just maybe, by continuing to just cut, cut, cut, we're shooting ourselves in the foot. Cutting off our nose to spite our face. Any other similar cliche you can think of.

In the Wichita Eagle today, I saw this story about various groups focused on crime prevention begging the County Commission not to cut their funding. But the commission doesn't have much choice because the grant they get from the state was cut by more than 2/3. The county commission doesn't have much choice as they just don't have the money. But the state legislature had a choice. They didn't have to slash funding of the Juvenile Justice Authority to such a degree that the JJA had to make such drastic cuts in its grants to counties.

Of all the things to cut spending on, I can't think of anything more short-sighted than to cut funding to crime prevention programs that work. The state is going to pay for that short-sightedness some day. And we're going to pay a whole heck of a lot more than the crime prevention programs would cost now. Why couldn't we spend $1 million this year to avoid spending ten times that much down the road? How hard is it to understand that it's a lot cheaper to prevent crime than to prosecute and incarcerate criminals?

1 comment:

Burt Likko said...'s a lot cheaper to prevent crime than to prosecute and incarcerate criminals...

Yeah, but a lot less fun.

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