NY to Spend $7.3M on College-in-Prison Program


August 8, 2017 9:56 AM
by Susan Dutca
$7.3 million will be spent to create or expand free college education programs in New York prisons. Among the seven colleges who will offer the College-in-Prison Reentry Program at 17 state correctional facilities over the next five years is Cornell University.

$7.3 million will be spent to create or expand free college education programs in New York prisons. Among the seven colleges who will offer the College-in-Prison Reentry Program at 17 state correctional facilities over the next five years is Cornell University.

New York Governor Cuomo's proposal for college-in-prison emerged in 2014, based on the statistics that reveal "lower recidivism rates among inmates who receive an education." This was met with great backlash from individuals who "questioned the state covering costs for inmates at a time when expenses were rising for non-inmate students." A compromise was reached in 2016 when New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance's office secured over $7.3 million dollars from recovered bank settlements to fund the college-in-prison program.

The College-in-Prison Reentry Program will offer more than 2,500 seats in hopes of reducing the chances of recidivism. "Prison isn't just about serving time for one's crimes. It's an opportunity to help those who have made mistakes rehabilitate and rebuild their lives," Governor Cuomo said. "...This program not only strengthens the futures of incarcerated individuals and their communities alike, but it will save taxpayer dollars in the long run."

Inmates participating in the College-in-Prison Reentry Program could earn an associate's or bachelor's degree, but inmates with longer sentences would not be eligible; only inmates with five years or less remaining on their sentences would be able to participate, according to the New York Times.

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Virginia A  on  8/10/2017 10:13:30 AM commented:

I think it's a great idea for someone to finally step up and REHABILITATE, which is actually one of the things the prison system was put in place to do. There are plenty of people in prison for non-violent crimes who made a rash/stupid decision which changed their lives forever but they had a lot of potential to be someone spectacular. A huge thumbs up to New York Governor Cuomo and New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance for being a great change agent for future human beings!!!!! I hope other states catch on and start saving their states money by educating the non-violent inmates and stop wasting money on overcrowded prisons that are in place and the BRAND NEW PRISONS being constructed yearly.....draining money.

Olivia S.  on  8/9/2017 3:09:27 PM commented:

I can see why this could be a well received idea and proposal. However it's frustrating for me to read as a law abiding citizen when I have to work my butt off to afford the privilege of going to school.

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