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December 19, 2010

Federal education stimulus dollars covering prison costs in Alabama

As detailed in this local article, which is headlined "Prisons the biggest recipient of Alabama's education stimulus dollars," a big chunk of federal dollars earmarked for education has been going to prison spending in Alabama. Here are the details:

Alabama’s biggest recipient of federal education stimulus dollars thus far is not a local school system or a college: It’s the Department of Corrections, according to a Press-Register analysis.

The agency has received $118 million of $1.1 billion in stimulus funding doled out to the state by the U.S. Department of Education since 2009.  The money covered health care costs for 26,000 inmates, and salaries and benefits for about 4,200 corrections officers and other employees for three and a half months, officials said.

The spending was legal: Governors were allowed to give up to 18 percent of the funding to areas other than education, such as public safety. Nonetheless, Alabama spent about $4,500 in education stimulus dollars per prisoner, about four times the amount per student in kindergarten through 12th grade....

“If we could’ve had that $118 million,” Baldwin County schools Superintendent Alan Lee said of school systems in general, “we could’ve given the prisons less business.” Studies have shown that students who fail classes and drop out are more likely to go to prison than those who do well in school....

Steve Brown, associate commissioner over administration for the Department of Corrections, said the injection of federal stimulus dollars was vital to the 31 prison facilities across the state. Without it, he said, his agency might have petitioned the Legislature for permission to release inmates, something that Brown said would not have been well-received. Or, the state would have had to skim money from all of its other departments, including education, to cover a corrections budget that has been ailing for years.

Prisons are overcrowded and the corrections department is staffed only at 80 percent of what it should be, he said. “We’ve done ‘what if’ drills before. We would’ve had to release 40 percent of our inmates. That’s not a viable option,” Brown said. Brown said that federal auditors examined the corrections department spending and gave their OK.

December 19, 2010 at 09:05 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Under 123D, each prisoner could have a concierge serviced suite in prison. Criminality would be that rare. Why? Because all the criminals would have been dispatched before age 18, prior to entering their peak in criminal productivity.

Even the families of these criminals would be greatly relieved to have them gone, especially the families, the people most victimized of all by their proximity, when the criminal lover lawyer looses this client to go out and generate more jobs for lawyers and government workers by destroying their families and neighborhoods.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 19, 2010 10:49:14 PM

The lawyer needs to be removed from all legislative seats, all benches, and all responsible policy positions in the executive branch. It is like having a traitor to the public interest at the highest levels of government. The lawyer allows 90% of crimes to go unanswered. When he has the person, he is as likely to have the wrong person as not. When he has the right person, he is likely to offer a plea to a trivial crime in 90% of cases to not inconvenience the source of his job too much. He is then likely to lie to protect his commodity. He calls the criminal non-violent when it is only the pled crime that is non-violent, and the criminal is ultra-violent. Then the Halloween costumed buffoon on the bench says, overcrowding, release the non-violent criminals.

This self-dealing incompetent cannot be allowed to run criminal justice, unless we want the utter failure it is in to continue.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 19, 2010 11:00:56 PM

very good to see this really appreciated.

Posted by: naiza | Dec 20, 2010 4:25:03 AM

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