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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Yes on Proposition 49: Prevent Juvenile Crime

November 03, 2002

For too long, the needs of California's children have been ignored as special interests have derailed repeated attempts to provide proven after-school programs for California's children. Public safety professionals witness the consequences of the lack of after-school programs. Juvenile crime -- homicide, rape, robbery and assault -- surges between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. This is when children are most likely to abuse alcohol, tobacco or drugs or have sex. In most instances, kids are also the victims of juvenile crime.

Proposition 49 is the solution to this serious problem. It would provide consistent funding, without raising taxes, for after-school programs at every elementary school and middle school in California. Claremont McKenna College's Rose Institute analyzed Proposition 49 and determined that, for every dollar invested in after-school programs, taxpayers would save $3 at the minimum.

Consider spending a small amount of money for prevention versus the costs of incarceration. The choice is obvious.

Leroy D. Baca

L.A. County Sheriff

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