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Upton honored with “Crime Fighter Award” by anti-crime group

WASHINGTON, DC, November 18, 2014 | Lynn Turner / Nick Culp (269-385-0039 / 202-225-3761)
One of the most effective ways to reduce crime rates and save taxpayer dollars is through evidence-based investments in crime prevention, says Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national anti-crime organization made up of law enforcement leaders and violence survivors. By investing early in at-risk youth, the costly, generational cycle of violence, abuse, and neglect can be stopped.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids today honored U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, with its “Crime Fighter Award” for his efforts on behalf of at-risk children and families. The award recognizes Upton’s support of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, which provides funding for states to support voluntary home visiting programs that are proven to improve child health, prevent abuse and neglect, encourage positive parenting, and promote school readiness. As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Upton helped ensure a continuation of federal funding for MIECHV, which was set to expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2014.

“We know that the early investments made in a child’s life can pay off tremendous dividends down the road, whether that means graduating from high school, landing a permanent job, or staying out of jail,” said Upton. “Like in so many things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By investing in our most vulnerable, we can help give these kids a real shot at becoming productive members of society. It is not only a better use of taxpayer dollars, it is a moral investment in our nation’s future.”

The “Crime Fighter Award” was presented to Upton by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member and Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey.

“My number one job as sheriff is to protect public safety by enforcing the law. But after four decades in law enforcement, I know we all are better off if we can prevent crime in the first place,” said Sheriff Bailey. “That is why I came to Washington, DC, today on behalf of the nearly 5,000 law enforcement executives that make up Fight Crime: Invest in Kids to urge Congress to renew funding for home visiting programs that have been proven to cut child abuse and neglect and reduce crime.”

Every year, there are roughly 700,000 confirmed cases of abuse or neglect nationwide, which does not take into account those cases that go unreported. The affected children not only carry the emotional scars for a lifetime, they are almost 30 percent more likely to commit a violent crime later on in life, reports Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. Home visiting programs can help break that cycle, significantly reducing the likelihood that an at-risk child will be arrested as an adult.

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