Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, an organization of police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and other law enforcement, is asking Congress to continue home visiting programs for at-risk mothers, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Strong and healthy families are the bedrock of crime prevention,” said Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn. The federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program was created in 2010. Its $400 million annual funding expires March 31.
Research on long-established Nurse-Family Partnership programs has shown lower rates of criminal convictions for women who participate. A study in Elmira, N.Y., found that 15 years after such a program began, pregnant women who did not receive the home visit had more than three times as many convictions as women who participated. More than 200,000 women nationwide are currently incarcerated and nearly a million more are on parole or probation. Flynn and other Fight Crime members met with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wi.), who supports the program.