Cuomo Drops Plan to Fund Prison Colleges

ALBANY (AP) -

The Cuomo administration has dropped plans for taxpayer-funded college for inmates, saying that the classes for New York’s prisoners will be privately funded.

An administration official, who declined to be identified publicly under the terms of a background briefing with reporters, says Monday it’s not part of the proposed state budget, noting lawmakers’ opposition to spending state money.

However, he says nonprofits and foundations are interested.

The administration announced plans in February to offer associate’s and bachelor’s degree education at ten prisons.

The governor’s office says New York already spends $60,000 annually on each prisoner, and the $5,000 yearly education cost would sharply cut recidivism, save money and reduce crime.

Since 2007, the Department of Corrections has partnered with colleges including Cornell and Bard to offer privately funded degree programs at 22 prisons.