Governor Tom tells tall tales. Here is Tom’s Top Twelve Tall Tale Number Seven – We don’t need no education, we don’t need no higher education neither, what we do need is more prisons, especially for profit, no bid contract prisons.
Despite only a few changes in crime patterns, the Commonwealth prison population has grown by 500 percent since 1980. So has Gov. Corbett’s prison budget. Presently, it costs $33,615 to imprison a human being in Pennsylvania for one year and $18,000 to educate that same human being at the most expensive public university in the Commonwealth. That’s right, state pen costs almost twice as much as Penn State.
Here are some other facts. About 39% of these inmates, roughly 19,000, are imprisoned for non-violent offenses.
While the state pleads poverty in basic education and funding music, art, and phys. ed., there was no shortage for money for for-profit juvenile jails who are awarded to their for-profit owners on the basis of no-bid contracts.
There also seems to be no shortage of corruption. Federal prosecutors recently convicted Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella and Judge Michael Conahan of taking more than $2,000,000 in bribes from the builder of a Western Pennsylvania Child Care detention center and extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the facilities’ co-owner. More on this in Tom’s tall tales number three.
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