NAACP: US Spends Far More On Prisons Than Education
(FinalCall.com) – A new report from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is critical of America’s “misplaced priorities” in overemphasizing and overfunding the prison industrial complex while underfunding education.
According to NAACP President and CEO Benjamin T. Jealous, excessive spending on incarceration undermines educational opportunities and destabilizes Black communities nationwide.
“Today, there is no greater threat to civil rights accomplishments than the state of our country’s education system and its impact on young African American youth. Failing schools, college tuition hikes, and shrinking state education budgets are narrowing the promise of education for young people all across the country. Meanwhile, we continue to invest billions of dollars into our corrections system, sending our youth a clear message that we value incarceration over education,” said Mr. Jealous introducing the report.
According to the NAACP, state spending on prisons grew at six times the rate of state spending on higher education over the last two decades. Many of those incarcerated have low levels of educational attainment, high levels of unemployment and quite often are victims of substance abuse. Currently, there are over 2.3 million people in prison in America.
Many cities across the U.S. are facing budgetary shortfalls, and as a result teachers are being laid off, schools closed, extra-curricular programming cut, and class size grows. An additionally troubling statistic is that in many major metropolitan areas with large Black populations such as Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Atlanta, high school dropout rates hover close to and surpass 50 percent in some cases.