With all of the talk about ending mass incarceration, the system still remains a train wreck. AND THE MAIN REASONS ARE “TOUGH ON CRIME” POLITICIANS AND OUR WAR ON DRUGS. The comparison with education spending shows how out of whack things have gotten.
This article does a good job in explaining the facts and figures. By the way, education and incarceration are related: about 66 percent of state prison inmates haven’t graduated high school, and young black men aged 20-24 without a high school diploma are more likely to be in jail or prison than they are to have a job, and all studies show that education is THE best way to reduce recidivism.
Given that 96% of all prisoners will be released, we need to end the “throw away the key” mentality and provide MORE education for inmates. I remind you again: when we reduce recidivism we decrease the number of future crime victims, and all of the anguish and costs they suffer!
Excerpts from the Article:
The U.S. spends more on prisons and jails than it does on educating children – and 15 states spend at least $27,000 more per prisoner than they do per student. This map breaks down the spending for those states, per student and per inmate, plus the difference between the two figures
Another factor in the spending gap between education and incarceration is that it takes more workers to run a prison than a school, with each American teacher supervising an average of 20.8 students, while prison guards oversee an average of 5.3 prisoners.
In addition, it costs more to house and feed prisoners three times a day, compared to school children who do not require the same 24-hour oversight.
While it may seem that prison spending and education spending are disparate, experts have drawn correlations between the two.
For example, about 66 percent of state prison inmates haven’t graduated high school, and young black men aged 20-24 without a high school diploma are more likely to be in jail or prison than they are to have a job, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
New York had the second-largest gap between per student and per prisoner costs – and spends more on each than any other state. Spending per student in New York is $22,366, compared to the $69,355 it invests per inmate, for a difference of $46,989.
Connecticut follows, with a $43,202 gap between its $18,957 spending per student and $43,201 per inmate costs.
New Jersey narrowly ranks fourth, with a $43,201 gap between per student spending ($18,402) and per inmate expenditures ($61,603).
Rhode Island lands in fifth place, with a $43,033 gap when comparing per student spending ($15,531) to costs per inmate ($58,564).
Vermont ranked sixth, with a $39,742 gap between per student ($17,872) and per inmate ($57,614) spending. Massachusetts followed with a $39,578 gap comparing per student ($15,592) and per inmate (57,614) spending.
With a gap of $35,124, Alaska ranked eighth, spending $17,509 per student and $55,170 per inmate. Oregon came in ninth, with a $33,180 gap between spending per student (10,841) and per inmate ($44,021).
Maryland came in tenth, with a $30,396 gap between per prisoner ($44,601) and education ($14,205) spending.
Colorado ranked eleventh ($29,729), followed by Minnesota ($28,985), Pennsylvania ($27,310) and Wisconsin ($27,188).
New Mexico rounds out the top 15, with a $27,140 difference between education ($9,692) and prison ($36,832) spending.