Higher Education For Texas Inmates Draws Scrutiny

AUSTIN (AP) – Texas lawmakers have questioned higher education for inmates who then do not repay the state.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that some prisoners, over the past decade, have secured college degrees and take vocational courses while behind bars.

The newspaper’s review of state records found that only about 6,600 of the 22,000 freed felon-students have repaid in full, as required. The remaining ex-convicts owe $9.5 million.

Courses for inmates, with good conduct and within seven years of release, are operated by the prison system’s Windham School District, which legislators have threatened to cut from the budget to save money.

House Corrections Committee Chairman Jerry Madden of Richardson on Tuesday said he wants the program dropped.

Superintendent Debbie Roberts, of the Windham district, says inmates who participate have a lower recidivism rate.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. Mike dallas texas says:

    There is no reason the State of Texas and the taxpayers of this State to do any more for the inmates that is the minimum of necessity as reguired by Law. All these rehab programs and the extra security and people it takes to operate these activities should be done away with . When you commit a crime , you are going to do hard time in Texas . And when and if you ever get out of State Prision , you can look back at the time YOU wasted committing crime and theFACT that YOU may never acheive much going forward.

  2. ChadCiCi says:

    With all the layoffs for teachers, police officers, and government, we still are providing CRIMINALS with and educaton!!!!! How many honest citizens are working their butts off to send their kids to college? Oh yea, I forgot…we would be violating their Civil Rights…poor babies….Most probably dropped out of school when they had the chance to go…they can’t be that smart anyway, they all got caught..

  3. Ana says:

    It really ticks me off that we provide prisoners a cushier life than most law abiding citizens have. Prison should be the place you don’t want to go, and yet they have so many luxuries. Why? Because it is their human right? What about the rights of the victims of their crimes?

    1. David Jolly says:

      I’d like to know what luxuries you are referring to.

  4. devoted72 says:

    I guess some of you don’t understand that at leat they are trying to do what is best for them. No one is perfect and some have made bad choices but you don’t have to take their education away! Most ex inmates have a difficult time finding a job when they are released anyways! Why do you think they go back to crime; because it’s hard for them to find a job that will hire them with a criminal record! So take away the ability to learn and to become productive citizens, I hope not!

  5. Aditi Sarkar says:

    The purpose of education is not getting a degree but learning how to think through things methodically and logically. There is no group of people I can think of who need to think though things, instead of acting on impulse, than inmates. United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s inmates. The cost of keeping them behind bars, some repeatedly and others for long periods of time, is far greater than training their minds with education.

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