The Education-Crime Connection
There is a clear, reverse relationship between education--in particular, staying in school--and crime.
Among, blacks that drop out of school almost 50% will be convicted of a crime and sent to prison. (The Week, 9/12/2003).
Among other races the rate is lower, but still one in every 37 of these male adults is a convicted criminal.
The with more than two-million citizens in prison, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the industrialized world.
But, instead of bolstering our education system, we are reducing funding and spending more and more on prisons. The Chicago Sun-Times said in an editorial on this topic, we are witnessing an "enormous social failure."
As if education wasn't important enough to our nation's future and ability to compete in the world, we seem to be ignoring the fact that in terms of dollars and "sense" we are spending millions on putting more and more people in prison while neglecting the very thing that could alleviate the problem.
The cost of crime goes far beyond the millions we're spending on prisons. When you add the costs of police, ER services, courts, insurance, loss of property and human lives, the cost becomes truly incalculable.
To balance budgets we are also cutting drug education programs. And it's drug related crime that's earning even low-level dealers Draconian 10 and 20 year prison sentences.
All issues of human compassion and citizen welfare aside, when you stand back and look at this issues from an economic standpoint, the education solution simply makes sense.