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The residents of New York have shared a number of viewpoints about the offer of free higher tuition to prisoners. During the Bill Clinton administration, the government attempted to launch a scheme that would provide prisoners with free higher tuition. Recently, current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his plan to offer college courses for New York State inmates. Prisons, he claims, are not dumps or storage facilities for the community's worthless members. Prisons, in his opinion, are centers of recovery. The method of turning worthless materials into usable ones is known as recovery. Criminals are worthless members of society. Therefore, taking them to prisons for rehabilitation purposes would only be successful if they were to come out as valuable people and add value to the society. The best help that any prisoner can get is an education (Chiras & Dominic 182).
Education is the most basic tool in human life. When the inmates are released from prison, they need something to bar them from returning to a life of crime. Some criminals might have been engaging in criminal activities for the better part of their lives such that they know nothing else apart from robbery, violence and mischief. Educating prisoners will definitely show the criminals that there are other ways of getting by. Instead of returning back to a life of crime, acquitted criminals will be in a position to search for available job opportunities, and many will be in a position to put food on the table using their own hands and brains in place of violence or trickery. For a certainty, provision of a free college education to prisoners is helpful to the prisoners themselves as a value addition program.
Some people claim that the provision of free education to prisoners is a waste of money and state resources. However, research shows that educating prisoners often lead to long-term savings for the taxpayers' money, and bolsters a nationwide growth. Every year, almost a half a million prisoners get released from prisons and back into the society (Esperian 330-332). If they were to come back a set of well-educated ladies and gentlemen, it goes without saying that they will be in a position to get employed by government institutions and other corporations. Upon finding well-paying jobs, their salary will be taxed by the government and by so doing, the average tax per person in the society will drop, and the government will get enough money to carry on with its activities. Simply put, when an educated lot of prisoners is released into the society, they will join hands with the other members of society and together, the people of New York will be powerful enough to make America greater than it is today.
Critics claim that college education costs for prisoners increase the overall rehabilitation costs in prisons. The claim may be relatively true, but it all depends on one's perspective. We all agree that reducing the number of inmates in the prisons can lead to a great reduction in the cost of managing prison facilities. It is possible to reduce the number of prisoners by cutting the number of people being admitted to the prisons or reducing the number of people returning to the prisons (Usher 380-381)). Provision of a college education makes the latter possible. In essence, free college education to the inmates reduces the number of criminals in the State of New York. Therefore, the NYS should pass the law that government pay college tuition for prisoners.
Chiras, Dan, and Dominic Crea. "The effect of education on crime: Evidence from prison inmates, arrests, and self-reports." The American Economic Review 94.1 (2004): 182.
Esperian, John H. "The effect of prison education programs on recidivism." Journal of Correctional Education (2010): 316-334.
Usher, Dan. "Education as a Deterrent to Crime." Canadian Journal of Economics (1997): 380 381.
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