paying for prison or college?

<p>I recently heard on the radio that it costs $ 60,000 a year to keep someone locked up in prison. Top colleges only cost $40, 000. Can that be true?</p>

<p>What, if anything, should we conclude from these figures?</p>

<p>It's cheaper to plop them into a grungy concrete block dorm room than a concrete block cell with bars and locks?</p>

<p>Spending OPM (other people's money) is always easier than spending your own. The folks who "budget" (I use the term loosely) for running our prisons are playing with funny money - ie, the taxpayers' money.</p>

<p>It also means that you don't have alumni making huge donations to prisons, the way they do to their colleges. When was the last time a person spent 4 years in prison, got out, became a successful Hollywood director, and donated $100 million back to the jail?</p>

<p>Good point hayden, but don't the room and board fees of colleges pay 100% for the services provided--surely this part of the fee is not endowment subsidized?
So what do you think the tuition-facilities part of the fee actually costs the colllege per student?</p>

<p>It would certainly be less than the $30,000 they are charging for tuition, but you have to take into account that at many of these schools half or even two-thirds of the students aren't paying anywhere near the $45,000 price tag due to grants and fin aid packages (I know I'm not, that's for sure), so it's not like they're getting $30k from each student only only spending $20k of it pocketing the rest.</p>

<p>Didn't I see bumper stickers around: "If you think education is expensive, consider the alternative"?</p>

<p>For years, I've been saying that instead of sending folks to prison, we should send them to Harvard. But then professors, faced with students who really needed them, would actually ahve to teach! (not meant as a slam at H. - meant to stand for any expensive private u.)</p>

<p>But mini, you have also been telling us that the so-called full freight charges of $45k do not come close to covering the full cost of a top college education, so the $40k to $60k comparison is not valid.</p>

<p>The late psychologist Herb Lovett used to argue that if we just gave people the cost of their incarceration in cash, they wouldn't commit crimes. This is about the one thing I disagreed with him on. Especially for offenders who use drugs (which seems to be most) I don't think there's any ceiling to the amount of money they can go through.</p>

<p>throwing money at K-12 education also isn't necessarily the trick</p>

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