When we the talk about rehabilitation of prison inmates which is sort of false term to begin with. Because this really isn’t about rehabilitating inmates because when you are talking about rehabilitation. You are talking about rebuilding something and a lot of our inmates start with nothing and build nothing for themselves in a legal sense. And one of the reasons why they end up in prison. So to be factual about this we are talking about building human capital of prison inmates empowering inmates to build themselves up so they can give up their. Criminal careers so once they are out of prison and a majority of our inmates leave prison. They now have the skills to be successful in life outside of prison producing and being productive citizens. Which is what inmate building let’s say is about rather than rehabilitation. And when this topic comes up people tend to put it in terms of cost like how much would it cost to educate inmates and put. Them to work while in prison but also so they now have a job and skills that they can work at on the outside.
But my point that I make to counter the costs of educating and working prison inmates. Is that it costs more to not educate and work inmates because when ex-convicts leave prison as the. Same people they were with the same education level and skills and work-experience they had. When they entered prison, they tend to end up back in prison especially of they spent a lot of their time in prison. Basically doing nothing or spending long periods in solitary-confinement or basically spending a lot of their days. Waking up going to breakfast, returning to their cells or a day room watching TV or something, going to lunch, going to the yard for exercise. Spending most of their days just hanging out or doing nothing or sitting in their cells. But if you educate and work their inmates, that money you spend upfront pays for itself down the. Road and then some because now you have educated inmates who are working in prison. And can contribute to their cost of living while in prison but now have the skills to get a good. Legal job on the outside and not have to return to prison at all.
It get’s down to costs and priorities how we want our tax dollars to be spent. Warehousing and re-warehousing inmates after they return to prison and continue to cut money from education. Law enforcement and infrastructure because prisons now the way they are currently set up do not pay for themselves. Or do we invest in things that pay for themselves and free up resources to invest in those other things. As well as being able to bring our taxes down because we have inmates who contribute to their cost of living. And prisons that are self-financed and do not need other tax dollars.