A topic that had come up some time ago had to do with prisoners taking courses that would eventually lead to a college degree.

You could imagine the blowback I’d gotten from that one when I endorsed the program – known as NJ-STEP.

Some callers wanted to know why it was that they’d have to pay for college when prisoners would, in effect, be getting a college education for nothing.

And they’re right – it does seem unfair.

But look at it this way.

Would you want to go to prison in order to get a free education – college or otherwise? Who'd want to be in that environment.

Also, the program is being financed by private donations – the Ford Foundation being one of the participants.

Furthermore, a prisoner getting out of jail without the benefit of some kind of rehabilitation is almost always likely to commit more crimes thereby sending him or her back to prison – which costs the taxpayers money. By some estimates around 60 grand a year!

So look at it this way:
A) Education/paid for by private dollars vs. B) no rehabilitation/recidivism paid for by you and me.

I take option A any day of the week.

Here’s the Governor talking in a recent press conference on the expansion of the NJ-STEP Program.