Visiting 7 city correctional facilities on New Year’s Day, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter lamented that about one fourth of the city’s nearly $4 billion operating budget is spent on the criminal-justice system,the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. “We don’t need more incarceration, we need more education,” he said. “Some of these people don’t need to be locked up, they need a job.”
Speaking to 200 inmates at one prison, he said, “”We spend a lot of money to keep track of you up here.” He told them it cost $30,000 a year for each prisoner, compared with $10,000 for a community-college student. “Where do you think I’d rather spend our money?” Nutter said. When one inmate brought up flaws in the system that let some offenders walk free while others are locked up, Nutter agreed with him. “The system is not working the way we want it to work,” he said.