Prison Researcher: State Cuts in Inmate Rehab May Cost More Over Time


“f California is serious about reducing its prison population, one crucial component will have to be reducing recidivism,” Lois Davis of the RAND Corp. writes in the Los Angeles Times. Many state inmates have been in prison more than once, she says. “They get out, they have little training or education, they can’t get jobs and, in many cases, they return to lives of crime and find themselves back behind bars.”

Davis cites a recent RAND study of correctional education in U.S. state prisons showing that ex-offenders’ futures may depend on what they learn behind bars. State prison systems are struggling with budget constraints that require tough choices, Davis says, arguing that, “Cutting rehabilitative services that provide correctional education and vocational training may seem like a tempting way to plug short-term budget gaps, but it actually ends up costing the system more over time — and squandering lives that could have been transformed.”

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