Gov. Cuomo of NY to Start Funding College Courses for Inmates



It seems to make economic sense:

But Cuomo notes that it costs $60,000 to a house a prisoner each year compared to $5,000 annually to provide them college education. If such programs can cut down on recidivism, the state will see big savings, he said.


What they don’t tell you is that the $60,000 is a per person average of variable and fixed cost. It’s not as though you remove one prisoner and you save $60K. You would have to remove enough to shut down a whole wing.


It would have to vary a whole lot to get to be less than $5000, no?


At the same time, however, Cuomo has cut aid to public higher education, specifically the City University of New York system.


Why would he do that?


When it comes to budget proposals, education is usually not among the top priority in many states. We are a business nation and world.




Not necessarily. Included in that $60K is, actually mostly, the salaries and fringe costs of corrections officers. It’s not as though they would be laying off corrections officers by implementing this program.


That’s very true. As usual, and as always, law abiding folks who work hard, play by the rules, and pay their own way, take it in the chin.


How will this make a difference when most of these people probably wont even be able to get hired on by anyone due to the strict background checks done by almost every company in business today!!

IMO, background checks do nothing but keep the criminal in the criminal lifestyle, they give them no clean slate to start over with, same thing as continuing their punishment after they pay their debt to society, if they cant get hired by anyone, what do they expect them do to pay the bills? LOL

People have to pass a background check to be a cashier at a gas station!!! that is a bit ridiculous IMO.


I agree with you about the stigma attached to being an ex-convict (or an ex-schizophrenic) in the hiring process. However, your last statement concerning a background check to be a cashier at a gas station seems to me reasonable since one is still dealing with money.


It is very possible that the internet and online courses is going to be a real revolution to the cost of a college education. $5k per annum is probably way too high to what the cost could be brought down to.

There is a problem however that if you build it, people will come. Free education is not a disincentive to going to jail.


No, but*** if ***they prevent enough prisoners from returning a second a third time…for the one-time cost of $5000? The operative word is “if”, because I have no idea what job prospects would be in NY for an ex-con with a college degree.


Would it be better for them to have more jobless repeat offenders roaming their city streets? I don’t get how we sometimes discuss groups of people in isolation from each other, in such a way that if one group gains another group loses. Life is way more intricate and intertwined than that. More repeat offenders means only two things: bigger, more expensive jails which the law-abiding have to pay more taxes to run, OR more crime on the street. By suffering crime or by higher taxes, the innocent pay anyway, so why not try a different approach?


When you put a college educated felon in front of an interviewer they’re going to focus on the word “felon” before anything else.


Thus keeping that person in the life of crime in order to make a buck. IMO, things worked alot better before employers checked backgrounds, people could TRULY start over with a clean slate.

My employer does extensive BG checks, this is one reason we have staffing problems, nearly 75% of applicants are turned away after failing the BG check.

I was actually surprised that ALL temp agencies require BG checks for all jobs, including lower level factory/ warehouse jobs!!?? Where is the sense in that?


This is why a lot of us New Yorkers are a bit peeved at the proposal.

My parents sacrificed a ton to send us kids to school. Even then, we didn’t go to the top notch/most expensive schools.

It was like the kids I tutored when I was in college. They we’re minorities and basically just given scholarships because they were minorities. They really had no business being in college based on their work.



It’s stupid though. If you really pay your “debt to society” then our scarlet letter treatment is irrational


Some business owners may take a chance hiring an ex-convict, while others may not. It probably depends on a variety of factors, including the owner’s gut feeling about the particular individual, prior experiences hiring ex-cons, personal or family experiences with felons, and so on.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit