Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr

Forum Post: U.S. Prisons Don’t Fund Education, and Everybody Pays a Price

Posted 5 years ago on March 20, 2013, 2:15 p.m. EST by GirlFriday (17435)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Xavier McElrath-Bey was locked up as an accomplice to murder before his 14th birthday. A participant in a gang murder, McElrath-Bey spent 13 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for his crime between 1989 and 2002.

Though many young people in similar circumstances would be written off as lost causes, McElrath-Bey discovered something inside the prison walls that street life had prevented him from seeing—the power of education. After continuing his high school studies on the inside and graduating with a GED, McElrath-Bey felt he was only just beginning to learn.

So he started taking college classes offered by the prison.

Read the rest here



Read the Rules
[-] 3 points by mideast (506) 5 years ago

but we have to do something with all of the money we are not spending on our children
what better way than to hire a private prison guard?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

I know. Let's give that cash to high stakes testing.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

NYS supports closing law Libraries to inmates.


Too many figuring out a way to correct false arrests, secure freedom and reduce profits based on # of inmates.

Can't have that!!

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Well, have to save money somehow to pay out for lawsuits here http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Inmates-die-in-cost-cut-4397391.php#page-1

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

The evil never ends.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

But, it could. That's the problem that I have with this.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

Only if enough people rise up against the Prison industrial complex and agitate for fairness and real rehabilitation.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

People don't want to really do that. Just the parts that appeal to their interest. Several organizations are dedicated to aspects or stages in the system but, if we ain't talking about the high then there is no interest.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

Prison issues are low on the totem pole, it's true. However difficult it is to generate interest/support for this important issue, we must continue bringing up the facts, & educating people.

It is the most important thing we can do.

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Prison issues, or any criminal justice issue, is low on the totem pole because it would make people begin to question their own beliefs.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

And we have been conditioned by 30 years of "tough on crime", 3 strikes your out", mandatory sentencing, blame the victim rhetoric that renders us unable to see clearly how out system abuses the rights of people, and destroys lives rather than rehabilitate.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Exactly. We have candidates and op eds that deliver the short short version of it to get people to foam at the mouth. It's all bloody brilliant.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

Evil brilliance.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Another neat twist to them is that their construction was financed with public bonds, that are then tied into the communities/counties/states retirement funds. Same for power companies.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

You know, it would be groovy if you provided some links for that.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Not really. But, it was informative.

[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago


This link at least acknowledges the bond issue. Someone is buying these, and its usually the local and state governments and they tie them into the public retirement funds.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Why not something on the ELL inmates?

[-] 0 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

I support education for inmates. I support Pell grants for them as well. I recommend identifying, denouncing, & retiring any pols the cuts education opportunities, even for inmates.

I am with you.

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

There are many issues that we are aligned on. Truth.

However, what I am seeing is people take 1.6 million incarcerated individuals and use them for their own purposes. Not 2.5-3 million. 1.6 million. When you start looking at what is available and what is not or actually looking at ways to reduce recidivism--they disappear. Get too close to addressing those issues and the other side steps in and tries to redirect the conversations.

What I need to see are those people who tout the numbers to support their agenda give a damn beyond that.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

Yeah. Too many use the prison population as a free labor force, it's just modern day slavery.

You are right to bring up this important injustice.


[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

That would be the Prison Industries Act or further back PIE. ALEC is behind this.

However, this would be about the education.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

Widespread, never ending problems.

I bet the people pushing slave labor are the ones opposing education for inmates as well.

excellent post

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

It doesn't have to be never ending.

[-] 0 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

No. It just seems that way. Daunting, overwhelming, powerful forces allayed against us.

[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 5 years ago

Why not just out source our prisons? Hundreds of millions on prisons, salaries, pensions, countless lawsuits... why couldn't we just out source the entire deal?

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

we already have faux privatization -meaning that you still pay through taxes and at no point should any part of the criminal justice system be for profit.

[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 5 years ago


[-] 0 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 5 years ago

Do prisons profit from providing education I wonder. Don't doubt it, or they probably wouldn't offer it.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

When you are ready to address the issues, let me know.

[-] 0 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 5 years ago

Ah, I missed the line "Read the rest here". Unfortunately I'm unable to do anything about that other than what I'm already doing, as much as I wish I could.

[-] 0 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 5 years ago

schools not prisons in 2016.

[-] -3 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

Why are you flooding this forum with more non essential posts? Have we all forgotten why this movement was started? To end the collusion between big business and big government and restore the power of the only legitimate voices that belong in a Democracy, the people.

[-] 2 points by mideast (506) 5 years ago

We need to build more prisons to get ready for Elizabeth's & Eric's flood of banksters [ I hope ]

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago


You're not there?

Oh, and BTW...It's not one thing, it's everything.

[-] -1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

I completely missed it, hiding among the 90% of superficial posts here. If we attack every flame of injustice and miss the root, the fire will continue to blaze.

If the fire department tried to put out a fire the same way Occupy attacks a problem, every burning house would burn to the ground.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

I look forward to your comments in the thread then..........:)

Should I hold my breath?

Let me know, as I'd prefer not to turn blue.

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Gee, I didn't realize that public defenders and prisons presented such a problem for you. Public defenders=big government. Education as opportunity=big government. Good to know.

Much better to spend our time with threads like..............Dorner as a victim.

I love Libertopia.

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

No problem with the topic, just it's relative lack of value to achieving Occupy's goal.

My Dorner thread wasn't a productive post either. Thanks for pointing it out to me. I'm sure you would agree that non productive posts on this forum need to be weeded out so that the productive ones can be fertilized and blossom.

I know you can come up with important hard hitting topics that move Occupy's message forward instead of the current batch that leads nowhere in a thousand different directions.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

I call bullshit. It's personal. You know it and I know it.

[+] -4 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

Instead of giving free stuff to murders why not require that they pay for their own keep as well as compensate victims with money-making enterprises like ( BTW these jobs provide provide considerable education. Nobody wants to do these jobs and they can make top dollar.):

  • Road kill removal

  • Compost and sludge processing

  • medical waste disposal

  • Concrete truck slag removal

  • Fuel tank re-lining

  • Waste-water treatment

  • Port-o-john reclamation

  • Deodorant efficacy agent

  • Pet food taster

  • grave digger

  • rodeo clown

  • cadaver (death row prerequisite)

  • Congressional veracity checker

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

There already is a slave labor component in prisons. You have heard of this?

[-] -3 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

The component is not so large as to make them going concerns.

They should be paying their debt to society, right? I haven't seen any cash yet. How about you?

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago
[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

It has been a concern for quite some time. I am surprised that you are unfamiliar with this issue.

[-] -2 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

Have you seen any cash yet?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

You did. You got your cash with the faux privatization of the education system. Stop stealing from the public coffers.

[+] -5 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

Oh, but if we could really achieve the privatization of education maybe we could rise above our current status at 25th in math and 17 th in science world wide.

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

No. You lost that argument over a year ago. Denial on your part simply means that you intend to continue your theft from the public coffers.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

The most damaging monopoly in the history of the the US:

Shortly after I did my first TV special on education, “Stupid in America,” hundreds of union teachers showed up outside my office to yell at me. They were angry because I said union rules were a big reason American kids don’t learn.

The union is a big reason kids don’t like school and learn less. Union contracts limit flexibility, limit promotion of good teachers, waste money and make it hard for principals to fire even terrible teachers.

But I was wrong to imply that the union is the biggest problem. In states with weak unions, K-12 schools stagnate, too. Education reformers have a name for the resistance: the education “Blob.” The Blob includes the teachers unions, but also janitors and principals unions, school boards, PTA bureaucrats, local politicians and so on.

They hold power because the government’s monopoly on K-12 education eliminates most competition. Kids are assigned to schools, and a bureaucracy decides who goes where and who learns what. Over time, its tentacles expand and strangle attempts to reform. Since they have no fear of losing their jobs to competitors, monopoly bureaucrats can resist innovation for decades.

As one advocate of competition put it, the Blob says: “We don’t do that here. We have to requisition downtown. We got to get four or five people to sign off; the deputy director of curriculum has to say this is OK, etc.” Most reformers just give up. The Blob insists the schools need more money, but that’s a myth. America tripled spending per student since I was in college without improving student achievement. In Los Angeles, they spent half a billion dollars to build the most expensive school in America. They planted palm trees, put in a swimming pool and spent thousands of new dollars per student.

The school is beautiful, but how’s the education? Not so good. The school graduates just 56 percent of its students. Three schools in Oakland that Ben Chavis started aren’t as fancy, but the students do better. They get top test scores. And Chavis doesn’t just take the most promising or richest students, as teachers unions often claim competitive schools do. Chavis’ schools take kids from the poorest neighborhoods.

So what does the education Blob decide to do? Shut his schools down.

School board members don’t like Chavis. I understand why. He’s obnoxious. Arrogant. He probably broke some rules. For example, he’s accused of making a profit running his schools. Horrors! A profit!

If he did profit, I say, so what? He still got top test results with less government money. Good for him!

But the Blob doesn’t like success that’s outside its monopoly. It doesn’t matter that Chavis has now resigned from the school’s board. Oakland may still close his schools. Think about that. As measured by student achievement, his schools are the best. But the Blob doesn’t care. And the Blob has the power of government behind it.

In New York City, the union teachers protesting outside my office said: “Our rules are good and necessary, and if cities would let us train teachers and run schools, we’d do a great job. ... We have the expertise, intelligence, the experience to do what works for children.”

They said if charter schools must exist, the union should run one, and they “would create a school where all parents would want to send their children.” So New York City gave the United Federation of Teachers a charter school of its own. The union boss called it an “oasis.”

But what happened? Today, the teachers union school is one of New York’s worst. It got a “D” on its city report card. Only a third of its students read at grade level. And the school still lost a million dollars.

Yet it’s the union’s model school! I assume they tried their best, staffed it with some of their best teachers. The union knew we were watching. But with union rules, and the Blob’s bureaucracy, they failed miserably.

I really want to ask them why they hate competition, but they won’t come on my show.

John Stossel

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

And Stossel is how you lost last year. How convenient. You're done.


[-] -3 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

BTW do you know where the 1% really have the 99% by the short hairs?


Rich folks (Like the Bushes and Obamas) can afford to send their kids to private schools that provide excellent education and association with peers that provide powerful connections.

The poor and middle class suffer a Gov required segregation that discriminates against them as children. This Gov forced discrimination causes greater harm to these children than all of the racial, gender, religious, and other biases combined. It steals their opportunity while giving the rich a Gov sponsored advantage that is largely, and ironically, financed by the poor and middle class themselves.

Think of it! The rich take advantage of the crappy public schools that the poor are forced to finance and attend because those very schools widen the education gap between rich and poor!

And what perpetuates this discrimination? The Gov school monopoly.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

No, because you have failed to eradicate poverty. Further, you are making the assumption that some how elitism and cash rub off on kids simply by associations and in doing so you maintain the status quo. It isn't what you know but who you blow.

None of your argument justifies deliberately, willingly, consciously stealing from the public coffers to shut down the public education system via high stakes testing designed to fail.


[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

You left teabagge(R) sanity checker off your list.

Or is that job too simple?

They're all nutz.

[-] -2 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

Come on, I expected a little more creativity from you. How about:

  • organ doner.

  • rattle snake milker

  • manure sifter

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

All of these are jobs I think would be better served by WallStreet CEOs.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

You have to put them in jail first.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Just treat 'em like the rest of us.

Arrest 'em on bullshit.


They can have a lawyer, part time, sort of, maybe, and only try them in a court strapped by the sequester...............:)

That'll get 'em there.

[-] -3 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

It is going on four years an there has not been a single arrest. Why not?

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Nobody really gives a fuck, they're too worried about Obama taking all their guns away, to admit reality. Or haven't you noticed?

[-] -2 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

Or you could look at another way. Obama is too busy trying to take guns away from folks that have committed no crime to spend time prosecuting CEOs that you believe have. Quite a conundrum don't you think?

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

See what I mean? Scared shitless, over a piece of metal.

Ignoring of course, the glacial speed of the court system.

On the other hand there has been some progress.

Progress that I'm FLAKESnews, Limbaugh, et al, have ignored.


[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Thats not progress. Thats called a slap in the face of justice.

Obama isnt taking any guns away, and he sure as hell isnt going to reign in Wall St. Too much money in both.

Thats what a nation that votes in 90% of the scumbags every year gets- more scum.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Destroying democracy one State at a time.

While you ignored it, or perhaps cheered it on.

After all you HATE the 99%.

This is your doing as much as anyone else's, likely it's more so considering your hate.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

So why are American's killing each other so much? Why are there three times as many rapes?

Why are so many Americans who want less guns voting for the people who sell them all over the planet?

Quite the conundrum if ya ask me....

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

Most folks are forced to vote for the pol that pays them.

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 5 years ago

That was a good use of the court system; particularly since a settlement was reached prior to trial.