I don’t think individuals should get FREE education in prison. Seriously, what the f-k? I had to pay for my degree and, yes, I am still paying off my student loan. So, when I read this headline “Prison Education Smart Investment, Reduces Crime.” I took a deep breath poured myself a glass of wine before reading the article. Taylor had my number with the question “Why should we pay for prisoners to get a free college education when I must pay for my child’s education?”
I do agree with Taylor that education is a cost-effective intervention that puts prisoners on a different path that generates hope and employability. The article states “The RAND Corporation found that prisoners who become educated are 43 percent less likely to return to prison. For every $1 spent on education, $5 is saved in reduced re-incarceration costs.” However, I counter with the thought that if we’re going use tax payer’s dollars, shouldn’t we stop the pipeline to prison system? Just imagine the difference we could make with $35,000 per student. Public school systems could hire more tutors , pay teachers a livable wage and cover the cost of extracurricular activities and the professional cost of continue education courses. I say we can save higher than 43% if we start educating them in kindergarten and continuing through 12th grade. I also wonder the percentage of 43% that have felonies. How many individuals with felonies are getting second chances at life in the employer sector?
I respect Taylor’s argument and agree our system is broken and we have a way to fix it. I, however, do not feel that public tax dollars are the way. Perhaps they should go the route of this article Behind bars, College is back in session and these institutions , Vera Institute of Justice , University Beyond Bars , Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Sunshine Lady Foundation have been involved in these efforts, as has the U.S. Department of Education. These projects drive change by advancing new knowledge about justice reform and implementing solutions on the ground.I feel that through low-cost education programs, we can deliver a program that results in a college degree and dramatically changes lives, and then there will be no need for the prison college education debate. What are your thoughts on this topic?