Gay’s post about innocent people being released from prison reminded me about the show. Imagine going to jail for something you didn’t do in your early 20s and getting out in your 40s and you get $0 to get off your feet, you can’t get a job because employers don’t understand the meaning of “innocent”, you’ve been living with criminals in prison with few rules for now most of your life and have a hard time adapting to society’s rules. And why do you end up this way? Because you didn’t do anything! Meanwhile, OJ Simpson is playing golf and the Enron & Worldcom execs who swindled thousands of people out of their futures are not likely to be punished as severely as these innocent people.
Fun Facts: It costs $23,000/yr to incarcerate each prisoner. In comparison, the average state college tuition in the US is $2,848/yr. This implies that the US is 10x more concerned with imprisoning people than educating them.
There are 2.2 million people in prison right now in the US. If we cut the average cost of incarceration by just $1,000/yr (4% decrease), that would be $2.2 billion in savings. That could give free college education to 785,000 people who can’t afford it. In other words, for every 2.8 people in prison, 1 person gets a free education at a state college.