Child Development Key to Crime Prevention

Article excerpt

Preventing crime begins at the crib.

That appears to be the preliminary conclusion of an Oklahoma Academy for State Goals task force studying the problem of crime in Oklahoma.

Tackling crime prevention begins with developing strong parenting and child developmental services, concluded the Academy's "Task Force on Crime: Building Safer Communities," in its preliminary report. "It is recommended that a well developed and expertly delivered set of parenting/child development services be required for all Oklahoma Medicaid Managed Care contractors. "Each child who is covered by the Medicaid program shall be eligible for these services. They shall be paid for, and marketed by, the contracted HMO providers delivering Medicaid Managed Care maternal/child health services." That is the foremost crime prevention recommendation of the task force. That recommendation should not imply that low income families who would use Medicaid services are the only source from which crime problems emanate, said Dr. Steve Smith, economist at Rose State College, and a member of the task force concentrating on early prevention. The task force began its work following the annual conference of the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, which was devoted to "Crime: Prevention, Detention and Community Involvement" in Tulsa in May. …