Education Vs Incarceration
Is the United States really valuing education? Why is more funds going into prisons than schools? The budget cuts in the education fund can really interfere with a student’s education. (Thesis) The distribution of funds between prisons and schools in the United States is biased.
The prison population has grown rapidly in the United States for the past thirty-five to forty years and it still continues to grow till this day. The growth in state spending on prisons and the criminal corrections has outpaced the growth of education spending. According to Steven Hawkins of the The American Prospect, he states that the prison population has grown exponentially from 500,000 to 2.3 million people in just three decades. Hawkins also shares that the United States almost spend $70 billion annually to keep adults in prison and jails, to confine youth in detention centers, and to supervise 7.3 million individuals on probation and parole. According to Lori Bezlaher in her article “Will California Choose Prisons Over School- Again?” (The Nation), she discusses how California’s Governor Brown and the legislature have come up with a plan with the money raised by Prop 30 (Proposition 30, officially titled Temporary Taxes to …show more content…
The cost for an inmate in the United States is $31,900 per year and about $40,000 for prisoners in maximum security. Every 7₵ from every tax dollar is used to fund prisons and corrections. (See Appendix 1) Most states, including California, are also faced with rising, deep-rooted prison costs. David Brodwin (How High Prison Costs Slash Education and Hurt the Economy) of the US News shares an example of former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s view on funding of prisons and schools. Arnold explains, “Thirty years ago, 10% of the general fund went to higher education and only 3% went to state prisons. Today, almost 11% goes to state prisons and only 7.5% goes to higher education. Spending 45% more on prisons than universities is no way to proceed into the future.” Elizabeth Prann of Fox News writes in her article,” Some law enforcement experts say that state prisons could cut down on prison luxuries, such as recreation and air conditioning, while depending more on alternative correction programs for minor offenders. Some law enforcement officials said “that prison costs are necessary. You can’t have one, but not the other.” (States Spend Almost Four Times More Per Capita On Incarcerating Prisoners Than Educating Students, Studies Say, Fox News) “The Sentencing Project” shows how likely a certain race is going to be imprisoned than the other race. For example, according to the Sentencing Project, Blacks