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Education Dollars Going to Prisons in Alabama

The Sentencing Law & Policy blog posted a link yesterday to an article on disclosing that the biggest beneficiary of federal education stimulus dollars given to Alabama has been the department of corrections.

According to the article, the state has received approximately $1.1 billion since 2009 under the federal program, and of that sum, $118.6 million has gone to the corrections department. And not for anything that could legitimately be called "educational purposes." The money has been used to fund healthcare costs for 26,000 inmates and to pay the salaries of 4,200 department employees.

While nobody in Alabama is challenging the legality of the spending -- the bill allowed for up to 18 percent of funds to be earmarked for other purposes, such as public safety -- some educators bristle at the fact that four times as much education money is being spent per inmate as per public school student.

From the article:

“If we could’ve had that $118 million,” Baldwin County schools Superintendent Alan Lee said of school systems in general, “we could’ve given the prisons less business.”

Posted by Eric Lipman on December 20, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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