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Low-interest loan better for convicts than free education

Monday, March 3, 2014
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Low-interest loan better for convicts than free education

It seems that Gov. Cuomo has stirred up quite a controversy with his plan to offer free college courses to inmates in New York prisons.

By looking at some of the positive effects of this proposal that the governor claims will occur, one cannot but see some positive results, i.e., overall lower cost to taxpayers and lower rates of recidivism among inmates.

However, one must also empathize with parents who have been, or who are, or who will be spending thousands of dollars to educate their children. Is this proposal fair to them?

Why not modify the idea and view the $5,000 per-year cost as a college loan that the inmates must be required to repay with modest interest upon release from prison and the securing of a job?

Of course, this would require a compromise among the parties involved, and, in the current governmental climate, good luck with that.

Robert Fredette

Niskayuna

Why are convicts and illegal aliens getting a better deal than Americans?

Gov. Cuomo recently announced that he is implementing a program whereby prisoners can complete a college degree for free while incarcerated. Free? Not when the taxpayers are paying the estimated cost of $5,000 per prisoner per year. Reduces recidivism? Only time will tell.

[As stated] in the Feb. 24 Gazette, our illustrious lawmakers are also considering a bill to give access to state tuition assistance to illegal aliens residing in New York state.

We elected our legislators to look out for the interests of us, the taxpaying, law-abiding voters of the state. Aren’t there any rewards for good, legal behavior? When is it our turn?

How about the state rewarding the upstanding legal students of New York state by allowing them to attend a state university for $5,000 per year, including room and board? Or paying the $20,000 it now costs?

Let your legislators know how disappointing they are. This is an election year.

Mary E. Barbagelata

Scotia

Governor’s free education plan lacking in details

Regarding the $5,000 per-year cost for a college education for inmates: Would someone explain to the taxpayers (who will be paying for this) how it costs around $20,000 a year to go to a state university and the governor is expecting us to believe that it would cost $5,000 a year to give prisoners a college education?

Are inmates to only take a few courses per year that would cost at or below $5,000? If so, what is the expected time an inmate would need in prison to attain a GED, if needed, then get enough credits at $5,000 per year to attain a degree?

Is this another “feel good” program or one that would actually reduce recidivism? The government is not paying for this or anything else politicians spend money on. We taxpayers are the donors, and before we agree or not, we should have more information. I don’t think politicians have the right to throw our money around without accountability.

I am also curious to find out if education really does need to cost so much for the public at large, or are “government subsidies” bestowed on the educational system elevating the price? If, by chance, a college education can be provided to an inmate for $5,000 per year and be completed in four years, why can’t the cost translate to everyone?

Please, governor, give us more details.

Christine DeMaria

Clifton Park

 

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