Local News

February 26, 2014

Readers reject prisoner college education

PLATTSBURGH — Press-Republican Facebook followers overwhelmingly oppose using taxpayer funds to pay for inmates to get college degrees.

Readers were asked to weigh in on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to have the state cover associate and bachelor’s degrees for people in prison.

Cuomo figures it would cost about $5,000 per year for each inmate in the program.

Here’s a sampling of the reaction:

Kim LaBerge: “Unless Cuomo is willing to pay every hard working, non-criminal student or college graduate who paid for or who took out student loans $5000 per year in tuition, on top of free meals, housing and medical in the time they take/took to earn their degree, he should rethink this proposal. It’s getting to a point in NYS where criminals and illegal immigrants get more benefits than law abiding, legal citizens. NYS’s motto should be ‘The State where crime pays — a place where convicts can call home.’”

Jennifer Zahn: “I should have been a crook. Could have got my degree.”

Ann Jason Whalen: “He should take that money and give it to schools so it will help with property tax. No wonder ppl leave this state.”

John Stefanov: “No way! They’re entitled to nothing! They did the crime and should do the time WITHOUT any benefits! We have G.I.s who fought for this country and are homeless! Give them something!!”

Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten: “I think it’s a good step forward into moving to rehabilitation from punishment.”

Gigi Dubuisson: “Who’s gonna hire them when they get out?”

Daryl Perkins: “I think it’s wrong. Inmates do not deserve to get anything while being locked up. They are there for a reason. Bad enough they get free health care. It’s getting to the point that you get more perks in prison then you do on the outside. Giving inmates this luxury is just more of a reason for people to get free amenities. Oh wait let me get locked up for a little bit. Get my health in shape, free room and board and earn a degree at the expense of everyone else.”

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