The economy is in poor shape and the growth of prison budgets is costing us tax money.
According to Rollie William’s article on Upworthy.com, the United States prison population ranges from 2 to 3 million a year, which is 23.5 percent of the world’s incarcerated population and the average annual cost per inmate is $31,238.
Think of all the money spent yearly on inmates and the fact that the money for the prison budget has to be taken from other government funded programs.
In some cities across the United States it can even affect the education budget.
Our tax money is in the hands of government officials that determine what the money is used for.
Unfortunately, for tax payers there’s no checklist of programs that we can decide to use our tax money on.
According to clickondetroit.com, Detroit’s schools in the Buena Vista School District canceled classes as of
May 3 and laid off all but three of its employees on May 7 because the district wouldn’t have been able to make payroll on May 24.
The shut down of a whole school district means that those students now have to find new schools in a different district to attend. The surrounding districts will become overcrowded and the quality of the education can be affected.
In 24/7 Wall St.’s article, Best and Worst Run Cities in America, Detroit is ranked number two on the worst list but San Bernardino is coming in close at number four.
If a school district in Detroit was shut down who is to say that we’re not next.
With the shortage of funding, financial administration is crucial.
Provided that the prison budget takes priority over the education budget, there could be an increase in crime and many of the youths that are incarcerated miss out on the chance of furthering their education.
Williams also stated that, “A study by UCLA found that a $1 million dollar investment in incarceration will prevent 350 crimes, while the same investment in education will prevent more than 600 crimes.”
If we were to place those kinds of investment we would be able to relieve some of our economic deficit along with solving the overcrowded prison issue.
As college students, we stress over finding a job after graduation but nowadays it’s hard getting a job if you only have a diploma or GED.
It’s even harder for an ex-convict to get a job if they don’t finish their education while in prison.
Ex-convicts have other problems when it comes to looking for a job. The law restricts them from obtaining certain jobs and they miss out on job experience while in prison.
Without the proper education, which costs anywhere from $2-$4 thousand per inmate, convicts may have trouble re-entering society and being accepted after being released from prison.
By investing more money into education within the prison system we can prevent prisoners from relapsing and even reduce prison overcrowding.
For example, a study done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that in New York 29.9 percent of inmates who didn’t attend college were re-incarcerated within 3 years.
Giving these citizens a chance at an education may break the cycle and keep them out of prison for good.