In their Dec. 15 commentary, “In Maine and across the country, two-generation approach is critical to reducing child poverty,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Tony Cipollone, president and CEO of the John T. Gorman Foundation, make a solid case for the urgency in tackling multigenerational poverty.

The authors cite decades of research to show that growing up poor can significantly diminish a person’s chances of achieving success later in life. What’s more, those children often grow up to head low-income families of their own.

As law enforcement officials, we’re all too familiar with the fallout. Forty-one percent of Maine’s prisoners do not have a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Our jails are filling up with people who might never have ended up there had they been given a true shot at self-sufficiency and financial stability.

By providing children with access to high-quality early education and giving their parents an opportunity to learn better parenting skills and attend college and/or job training programs, the foundation for a more successful future is being shored up on both ends.

As members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national, bipartisan nonprofit comprised of more than 5,000 law enforcement leaders who protect public safety by promoting solutions that steer kids away from crime, we are pleased to join Sen. Collins and the John T. Gorman Foundation in their efforts to stop the cycle of poverty and inequity in Maine.

When we help parents, we help children, and when we help children, there’s no telling the heights they can reach. That’s a cycle worth repeating.


Barry Curtis

Washington County sheriff


Edward Tolan

chief of police


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