Governor Cuomo’s dream of a free education for convicted criminals simply won’t die. A Manhattan District Attorney is providing millions in settlement funds to help boost the plan – something Cuomo outlined at the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus previously.
Via the Times Union:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo again is proposing a college for prisoners plan. But unlike two years ago, he won’t be asking the Legislature to use state money to fund it.
Cuomo announced that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is putting up $7.5 million in settlement funds to help fund higher education for roughly 1,000 inmates in the state prison system. That proposal is part of a seven-point plan with a theme of racial equality and criminal justice and was announced by the governor at a Harlem church Sunday morning. Unlike most other parts of the seven-point plan, the higher education piece can be done outside of the state budget process.
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin isn’t a big fan of the plan to provide extra fund to criminals as opposed to hard-working families trying to put their kids through college.
— Steve McLaughlin (@SteveMcNY) January 10, 2016
McLaughlin previously joked about the program, “Have we reached a point in NY where the best educational value is to commit a felony do 5 years and come out with a degree?”
Rensselaer County Legislature Chairman Martin Reid has called it a case of “misplaced priorities” saying any funds marked for prison education should instead go to “upstate school districts (to) help maintain services and programs.”
Dale Driscoll, the maternal grandmother of Brittany Passalacqua, a 12-year-old who was brutally murdered along with her mother by a felon out on parole, took to Twitter and blasted Cuomo for his ‘college for cons’ plan.
— Dale Driscoll (@helensmomma) January 11, 2016
Brittany’s Law was passed in honor of Passalacqua, creating a publicly accessible registry of convicted violent felons.
There is an online petition called “Kids Before Cons!” in response to Cuomo’s plan to provide prison inmates with taxpayer funded college courses.