College For Inmates At The Tax Payers

1651 Words7 Pages
William Ward Jr. (“Will”)
Professor Jim Robison
English Composition 1102
2 December 2014
College for Inmates at the Tax Payers Expense? The United States tax payer spends, on average, $60,000 per year per prisoner incarceration. Along with that, state and federal spending has grown 400% in the last 20 years and is among the fastest growing line items in state and federal budgets. As a result more tax payers are in inquiry about whether or not their money is providing the best public safety return on their investment. Recently the governor of New York set in motion a program that will offer free college education to inmates and will require using tax payer’s dollars in which he believes is a worthy investment. Should this college education
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According to Keller, author of the New York Times article “College for Criminals”, although America is “the world’s leading warden” it has a “deep ambivalence” in reference to the very purpose of prison. Keller also states that the actual purpose of prison is to punish, ensure public safety, and lastly for rehabilitation. However, nearly half of inmates released from prison return for committing new crimes within the first 3 years so Keller concludes that the US isn’t doing a very good job in rehabilitating. In order to save the tax payer’s money Keller agrees that the option of offering a college education to inmates would only cost the tax payer $5,000 rather that $60,000. Keller claims that our way of punishment wastes money and lives unnecessarily when the results of studies conducted concluded that inmates who participated in these college programs were a lot less likely to return to a life of crime, improving public safety as well. No matter how the inmates are selected Keller makes the point that every investment made in this program will have a positive return in favor of the inmates and the taxpayers as well. According to Henson, a resent Washington
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