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.

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