BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) ––– Law officials from across the state are meeting with lawmakers at the Capitol Tuesday afternoon to discuss expanding the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).
The event includes Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members Hillar Moore, East Baton Rouge District Attorney; Greg Champagne, St. Charles Parish Sheriff; and Tommy Clark, Grambling Police Chief and President of the Louisiana Police Chiefs Association, along with State Representative Ken Brass and Sherrel Pointer, the owner and Director of Baton Rouge’s Treasures from Heaven Child Care and Learning Center.
BrProud’s Zach Labbe spoke to District Attorney Moore. “We have a very troubled problem with youth committing a lot of really serious crimes in Baton Rouge, particularly over the last two years,” said Moore.
Along with other law enforcement agencies, he believes that more youth programs could stop the pipeline of children without access to these programs getting involved in criminal activity. “Look at Louisiana. We’re always number one in the homicide list, we’re number one on crime, and we’re always number one on the worst schools, the worst-funded childcare assistance programs, and to me, they just go hand in hand, and it’s very evident,” said Moore.
He added, “people really don’t see the problem until the child becomes older and the child becomes a problem. So this focus is, let’s help this child before he becomes a problem.”
Moore cites successes in other cities, saying, “Chicago’s investment for every dollar they spend or invest in early childhood education with childcare assistance. They really reaped the benefit.” A study of those programs showed a 35% decrease in total arrests and a 50% decline in violent-crime arrests.
If additional funding is approved, it would still take some time to see those results. “I would like to say you see some immediate impact because one child could affect another child in a family that’s even older. But to be honest, for anything, research-wise, the minimum is probably five to 10 years,” said Moore.
He believes something needs to change now, saying, “we’re going to continue paying on the back end until we fix the front end.”
The meeting is at 1:00 pm on the house side of the Capitol Gardens in front of the State Capitol, located at 900 North Third Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.