(Brooklyn, NY) - “I believe Governor Cuomo’s progressive move to dramatically reduce New York State’s 40 percent prison recidivism rate is exactly the type of forward thinking move New York needs,” said Senator Kevin Parker. “Resurrecting New York’s historic policy of providing incarcerated individuals with the opportunity to earn a college degree in prisons across New York is a good investment in reducing recidivism and creates a pathway away from crime for prison inmates.“
By educating inmates, New York State can better prepare prisoners for life after jail, since studies have shown that post-release employment rates are higher for those prisoners who received education while in prison. Additionally, as the New York Times pointed out in an editorial it ran on February 18: “a job means more stability and more money — which translates into less crime, fewer inmates, and more savings for taxpayers.” The Governor’s initiative will provide college level education at 10 New York State prisons, one in each region of the state, and would offer both associates and bachelor’s degrees. By early March 2014, the state will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit responses from educational associations that provide college professors and classes in an accredited program in order for inmates to earn their degrees.
“This is a bold move and I fully support Gov. Cuomo in this common-sense effort to keep former prisoners on the path of reform and redemption, and to offer them a second chance at being upwardly mobile citizens,” the Senator continued. “Since every dollar spent on inmate education saves four to five dollars in the long run, the Governor’s policy not only supports New York’s values, it is fiscally prudent.”
About Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Kevin Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse Brooklyn community that consists of 318,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope. He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committees on Energy and Telecommunications and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Assistant Democratic Leader for Intergovernmental Affairs, and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.