ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A new plan to cut crime in New Mexico looks at getting more kids to graduate from high school.
One economist estimates if five percent more young men graduated in New Mexico, It could save the state $38 million in prison and jail costs.
Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman says kids who graduate are less likely to be arrested and sent to jail.
But getting more kids to graduate in New Mexico has been a long struggle.
Last year the statewide graduation rate was about 70 percent.
New Mexico Voices for Children released Heckman's findings Wednesday.
The group's executive director, who is the former state education secretary, says many New Mexico families are torn apart by drugs, and violence and kids are stuck in the middle of it all.
Veronica Garcia says it's important to make sure these kids graduate.
"Home visitation, quality childcare, pre-k, kindergarten, extended school time for poor children in those early years we know can make a difference," Garcia said.
According to Garcia, much of this hinges on education funding.
She says the state needs to start to children early and pour more money into early childhood development.
The benefits of succeeding in school go beyond staying out of jail.
Heckman also adds if that same five percent of high school grads also went to college, their combined income would be $20 million higher than if they hadn't gone to college.
The New York Times calls "American Idiot" "wonderfully raucous" and "emotionally charged."
Manners matter especially during the holiday season.
You've heard us talk a lot about Toys for Tots and how you can help needy kids in Albuquerque this Christmas.