In My Opinion
Education vs. Incarceration
What is your child worth? Are they worth your tax dollar? If you do not have children should you be concerned about education? Are you concerned about the rising amount of people who are in jail, how about the rising cost? Did you know that $39 Billion was spent on prisoners over the 40 states that participated in a survey I reviewed. It was a staggering figure and did not even include all of the costs associated with incarceration. I would like to draw attention to the fact that that amount is for only 40 of the states and reflects the 2010 fiscal year.
The increase in spending for prisoners is on the rise. The figure does not account for the cost associated with the states contributions to the staff’s health care and pensions.
The contributing factor for this rise in cost and criminals is the lack of priority we place on education. One in 100 adults are,+ or will be in prison and they will become the taxpayer’s responsibility. If we do not invest in our children, then we will lock them up later.
I have taught in the “dangerous minds classroom.” I have educated children in schools that require police protection. Where gun drills were the norm and we were trained to herd students into closets, away from windows, and to seek coverage under desks. If you want to know why people are shooting at one another and gang violence, drug use, prostitution, crime, and theft are prevalent, the answer is a lack of education and training.
The school system and the criminal’s parents failed to educate them. We as a society failed to enable these people in a way that they could become successful on the right side of the law. We didn’t teach them how to fish. We taught them to want fish and demand it appear on their plates and when it didn’t, they learned to go take someone else’s fish. We didn’t instill a work ethic. Instead they learned to take from someone else. It is easier.
It's clear that this society rewards people for misbehavior. In jail you receive a place to stay, clothes, food, health care, recreation, cable TV, and even an education. All for free. On top of that, if you are unable to afford an attorney you are provided a lawyer on the house. The problem is, this house is tired of paying for all these things. I would rather pay for education. I would rather reward people for achieving than deviancy.
The argument is going to come that jail is not a great place and this is a real hardship. Well, it is a hardship for me to do the “right things.” Do you know that the cost to house a prisoner is a day? Typically parole programs cost taxpayers $7.47 per day per parolee, while prisons cost $78.95 per day per inmate nationwide.
The cost to educate a student on average was $12,000 a year. Do you see the correlation and the misappropriation of funds?