Yikes. With all the people in our prisons, it seems a shame that we don't try to educate them so when they're released, they have a fighting chance to make it in the world and not slip into recidivism. Isn't that a good thing? We pay millions, if not billions a year in the States to house, feed and restrain prisoners. Should we make it more likely that we'll be safe when they are released?
Let's ask NY Republican Congressman, Jim Tedesco:
"This is definitely ‘Breaking Bad’ by potentially turning a bunch of Jesse Pinkmans into Walter Whites -– all on the taxpayer’s dime,” Tedisco said. “Soon we will be the only state where honesty and hard work are trumped by being a bad criminal. Only in New York. When can New Yorkers wake up from this nightmare?”
I think the Congressman's been spending too much time watching TV. Maybe a little more time reading pending bills and acting upon them for the best interest of his constituents might be in order.
Sadly Tedesco isn't alone in this. He has other Republican allies:
Tedisco's opposition resonated with several other lawmakers, including Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson).
"In a world of finite resources, where we are struggling to find funding for education for our kids, the last thing New York state should be funding is college tuition for convicts," Ball said in a statement.
It seems doing nothing to protect the public when inmates are returned to society is the Republican stance. Hell with education. Let's just give the inmates nothing constructive to do, dim all hopes for a future when they get out and let them discuss how they can become Walter Whites and Jesse Pinkmans because they won't be studying math, English, history, science, law or anything else constructive. The purpose of prison is supposed to include rehabilitation, noy just provide a shelter and free food. Let's get something for our money.
Inmates were once eligible for college tuition assistance, but the program was halted by former Republican Gov. George Pataki. That's now hopefully going to be reversed with the program the Republicans hate but the current Democratic Governor, Mario Cuomo is pushing.
According to Cuomo, the initiative would actually bring down inmate costs. He pointed to state data showing New York already spending $60,000 on every individual inmate and $3.6 billion in total costs to operate prisons annually.
"However, it costs approximately $5,000 per year to provide one year of college education for one inmate," Cuomo said Sunday. "Current studies have shown that by earning college degrees, inmates are far less likely to return to prison."
Here's wishing him luck -- which translates to more safety and productivity for our society. When will Republicans ever learn?