Educating prisoners is wise for many reasons

A college education for prison inmates. It is a good policy, clear and simple. Let’s review the arguments for. It makes fiscal sense. It costs $60,000 a year to house a prisoner. That’s a lot of money. College tuition would be about $5,000. Study after study shows that a college education will greatly increase the odds that a prisoner won’t be back once released. That seems like a good investment to me.

The proper goal of a prison term is rehabilitation, not vengeance. A college education will take us far toward that goal. And any inmate willing to do the hard work of a college class is hungry to go right.

And yet, the opposition comes baying. The arguments against boil down to a delusional view of prison as a cushy resort, a selfish “If I can’t have it, no one will” view or a horrifying view of prisoners as people less than ourselves. In short, three views that might be kindly termed as merely reprehensible.

Our decency and common sense can only support prison education programs.

Todd Mitchell