Maybe when Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis is finished calculating the cost of a bare-bones plan to expand the county jail, he can become an advocate for early childhood education.

More sheriffs on jumping on this bandwagon. For example, former Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel penned an op-ed in 2015 urging other sheriffs to become members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to investment in early childhood education.

"My reasoning is simple: 90 percent of brain development occurs in the first five years, impacting cognitive and emotional skills and making children far more likely to start school ready to learn so they don't fall behind, drop out and get involved in crime," he wrote. "If we invest in children early, the effects are lifelong, lowering dropout rates and involvement in crime. Putting resources in early childhood programs keeps communities safe, helping to lower crime and incarceration rates."

Read more at The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

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