Do states value prisons over schools?
- Increases in state funding for prisons have dwarfed those for K-12 and higher education, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
- While K-12 spending and higher ed spending rose only 69% and 6%, respectively, between 1986 and 2013, prison spending rose 141%.
- The report details how most states have seen incarceration rates more than tripled in the last few decades despite falling crime rates due to more aggressive policies by states, and the Huffington Post points out that spending on education has, for the most part, fallen since 2008.
The report's co-author, CBPP policy analyst Michael Mitchell, told the Huffington Post that additional education could lower states' incarceration rates, so it would be wise for states to reconsider their spending. The way money is currently being spent, the report says, hurts states' economies without making them that much safer. With the current focus on breaking the school-to-prison pipeline, it may be wise for policymakers to take heed.
- Huffington Post States Are Prioritizing Prisons Over Education, Budgets Show
Follow Roger Riddell on Twitter