Cuomo defends plan to educate inmates

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to use state money to pay for inmates to get a college degree is generating a lot of debate, but he’s standing behind his plan.

While in Buffalo on Monday to announce IBM is bringing 500 new jobs to a technology center in the city, Cuomo defended his plan as a way to save money.

“It is cheaper to provide an education to college because the recidivism rate comes way down,” he argued.

The governor says taxpayers spend around $60,000 a year to keep someone behind bars. He says educating inmates will cost about $5,000 more and will help keep them from returning to jail and continuing to be a burden on taxpayers.

Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen says he thinks the the money used for the program should be a loan that’s repayable upon a prisoner’s release and employment. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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