Collins wants to bar federal money for prison college

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Republican Congressman Chris Collins says he will introduce legislation to prohibit the use of federal money to provide college courses for convicted criminals.

The promised legislation comes days after Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a program to offer associate’s and bachelor’s degree education at 10 state prisons. Cuomo says it will reduce the likelihood of inmates returning to crime.

Collins called the Cuomo plan “an insult to law abiding citizens.” He is among a number of Republicans publicly criticizing the proposal.

Cuomo says the program would save taxpayers in the long run by reducing the prison population. The state would spend up to $5,000 per year to help a prisoner get a college degree, but it costs $60,000 a year to house a prisoner.

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