Education vs. Incarceration


The money being spent to build and maintain prisons far outweighs what is being spent on education, and that is neither ethical or encouraging. The government has to direct more of its resources towards education, instead of increasing its spending on prisons. Prioritize. Something the government has failed to do for a very long time when it comes to discretionary funds and how they are allocated.

The gap between what the government spends on prisons versus what they spend on education can only be described as ridiculous. More money is being spent to build and maintain prisons than is being spent to educate its citizens. If education were a priority, maintaining prisons would not be perceived as a “necessity”. The manner in which the government spends our money needs to be geared towards progress and not punishment. Society as a whole has this fear factor that is the direct result of increasing crime rates. And where are the crime rates increasing the most? In impoverished neighborhoods that have suffered significant cuts in their budget for education.

It is the very people from these neighborhoods who help to over- populate the prisons. Just think, if more money were placed in the school system in these neighborhoods to educate these people, less money would have to be spent on incarcerating them for poor decisions made due to a lack of education. This is what I call “systematic oppression”. If these neighborhoods continue to be under- educated, then the law makers, prison officials, and contractors can ensure job security for themselves, while the people in these neighborhoods remain unemployed and stuck in a financial rat race. I am a firm believer that better schools would result in better citizens because it gives them options.

Options that they do not have now because they are not educated enough to know they even exist. For those who recognize what is going on, they are receiving the message that the government does not care about their progression. All they care about is making the prisons “better” for their eventual incarceration. Would this not make you feel hopeless and rebellious towards the government? But when people rebel, they are not educated enough to realize that they are strengthening the government’s stance on spending more money on prisons than schools.

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, between the years of 1986- 2013 the growth in government spending for higher education rose 5.6%, 69% for K-12, and 141% for corrections. Utterly ridiculous. The picture being painted here is clear; education does not matter because they will be in prison, so lets put our money there. This perpetual motion continues to move in the wrong direction, and because of this, so will the economic disparities in this country.



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