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Cuomo's education plan for inmates stirs debate

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Albany/HV: Cuomo's education plan for inmates stirs debate
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Those on both sides of the debate are speaking out about Governor Cuomo's proposed plan to provide inmates with a college education at no cost.

Cuomo announced Sunday he was rolling out a statewide initiative to offer associate's and bachelor's degrees to inmates at ten prisons to help lower the state's 40 percent recidivism rate.

Modeled after the Bard Program, Cuomo and supporters say the plan could reduce it to 4 percent, at the same time saving the state millions of dollars.

Those on the other side of the debate believe the funding would be better spent towards law abiding citizens.

"We need to focus on those who are actually in college right now, paying high cost. Middle class New Yorkers across the state. Need to help alleviate that burden first," said Senator Mark Grisanti.

"The more training, the more education that inmates receive, the more likely they are to remain crime free, and become productive tax paying citizens," said Sharon Spaker of Peaceprints Prison Ministries.

Senator Grisanti says he'd like to see the money spent on tuition assistance for graduate students statewide.

The plan would need the approval of the state legislature. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP