My sons are 13 years old, and my wife and I were wondering how we were going to send them to college. That was until we found out about a law in New Jersey that allows prison inmates to get state aid for college tuition, even if they raped and murdered.

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin face federal fraud charges for trying to get their daughters into Princeton, when all they had to do was get them to hold up a New Jersey liquor store. I was teaching my sons that crime doesn't pay but now all that has changed.

The NJ-STEP gives incarcerated people the same rights as anyone else to apply for and receive a grant or scholarship through a state-administered program. The prisoner has to have been a resident of New Jersey for at least a year prior to being placed behind bars. This applies to all prisoners including those serving time for rape and murder. How that must make the victims and their families of these crimes feel. 

The new law stipulates that the inmate must receive approval from the state Department of Corrections to enroll in an eligible institution while they’re behind bars. Those include Raritan Valley Community College, The College of New Jersey, Rutgers and Princeton University.

While I have no problem with prisoners wanting to get an education while serving their time behind bars, I do have a problem with asking us to pay for it with our tax dollars. Especially when you also want to spend said tax dollars providing college aid for those who are here illegally. How great it would be if once, just once, one of these politicians would come up with a measure that would lighten the load on the hard-working people who are paying all these taxes.

If these politicians really want to provide aid for prisoners, the solution is to find a company that would sponsor them, pay for the education and then hire them. Asking the taxpayers to foot the bill only adds to the many things that divide New Jersey.

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