Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced that inmates will have more opportunities to obtain college degrees for free.
According to Newsday, at the annual meeting of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus in Albany Cuomo said that currently the state pays $60,000 a year to keep a prisoner incarcerated. 40% end up returning to prison at some point. Cuomo also noted that 1 in 3 black men and 1 in 6 Latinos will be incarcerated at some point in life, compared to 1 in 17 white men; 49% of of the state prison population is African American.
Cuomo asserts that more opportunities for college degrees would keep inmates from returning to prison and "avoid falling back into a cycle of crime." He also suggests such programs will save tax dollars. "Existing programs show that providing a college education in our prisons is much cheaper for the state and delivers far better results," said Cuomo.
Current college programs in place cost taxpayers $5,000 a year per prisoner. Although it has not been said that any added cost for this expansion is known, Cuomo spokesperson Matt Wing said that costs are expected to remain the same at $5,000 a year, with no cost for the inmates.
Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Mount Vernon) said the initiative "will help affected New Yorkers build a better future for themselves and their families, and it will result in a reduced prison population that will save taxpayer dollars."
What are your thoughts about free degrees for inmates???
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