To the editor:
Gov. Cuomo just announced another state spending plan to give inmates free college at the expense of the taxpayers. On the surface, this looks like a good political move. What is troubling is how he plans on doing this.
While trying to maintain a flat public protection budget, Gov. Cuomo has closed four more prisons and closes security posts on a daily basis. He has also seen an alarming rate of violence which he has been unable to quell in all the prison facilities throughout the state. Should not this money be used to protect the employees that are protecting New York? New York has seen the highest rates of violence in the state's prison system in over five years; last year we saw more than 645 assaults on staff alone.
Before we can move forward with any good programs, the system must be fundamentally safe, which at the current moment, the system is not. The types of inmates that take advantage of college are not the type that has high recidivism to begin with. Gov. Cuomo should protect the workers before offering college to inmates, especially while law-abiding citizens are forced to pay for their college.
This is also coming at a time a lawsuit was filed on behalf of public school students claiming the state is neglecting its constitutional obligation to ensure that every school has sufficient funding to provide all students a sound basic education. When will he help the law-abiding state taxpayers and employees?