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Chief Flynn urges U.S. Congress to continue funding home visiting programs

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn wants to keep funding for a program he says works in Milwaukee. He was joined by Janesville Police Chief David Moore, and Betsi Smith, a nurse from Kenosha, who have signed a letter urging Congress to renew the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.

Flynn says helping create strong families is essential to reducing crime.

\"Strong and healthy families are the bedrock of crime prevention,\" Flynn said. \"It's essential that we as a society invest in strong and healthy families because it is the most important single thing we can do to prevent crime, victimization, and through that the deterioration of neighborhoods.\"

FIGHT CRIME: Invest in Kids released a report called \"Orange is Not Your Color\" that documents the role of home visiting in reducing convictions of women and their daughters and cost savings to society. This is particularly important because there are more than 200,000 women incarcerated in the U.S., and because nearly two-thirds of the women in state prisons are mothers. Over 1,300 Wisconsin women are currently incarcerated and over 12,200 are on probation or parole.

Created with bipartisan support in 2010, MIECHV provides states and communities with funds to implement voluntary home visiting for at-risk expectant and new parents These programs bring trained nurses or other trained home visiting professionals into the women's homes to help them understand their children's emotional needs, make their homes safe for children, and respond appropriately to stressful parenting situations. They also help the mothers stay in school and then get jobs.

Wisconsin law enforcement leaders are among the more than 1,000 police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors who have signed a letter urging Congress to renew the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.

Flynn and Moore said they spoke with Congressman Paul Ryan about this and hope he can help keep the funding going.

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