Governor Cuomo has recently announced his intention to give free college classes to individuals incarcerated in state prisons. I do not support this plan.

While I am in favor of rehabilitation and reduced recidivism of inmates, I cannot in good conscience support the Governor’s plan when so many individuals and families in New York are struggling to meet the ever-rising costs of higher education.

Cuomo's plan, announced during the recent Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus at the Capitol, would provide college-level education at 10 state prisons, at a cost to taxpayers of about $5,000 per inmate per year. There are an estimated 54,500 inmates currently confined in state prisons.

Instead, I am fighting to restore the availability of graduate-level Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funds for middle class taxpayers that was previously eliminated, and I will continue to fight for its reinstatement before I even begin to entertain the idea of supporting this program.

Thank you for joining me in opposition to the plan to give taxpayer-funded college to state prisoners.

We would like also note that there is a secondary petition that has been started outside of WNY. There are over 9,000 signatures as of March 23,2014 that petition can be found at


  • Anonymous this plan is absolutely ridiculous. the state should not be rewarded prisoners with a free education that hardworking and law abiding students take monstrous loans out to receive.

  • Ann marie anderson I have one son with 60,000 in student loans and the other seeing that is working two jobs living in poverty to go to school!!!!! I've got an idea !!!! Let's invest in our upright law abiding young people instead of pounding them into the ground for 20 years as a penalty for doing the right thing and living a moral life!!!

  • Tea D. I'm so appalled, everyone is given choices in life, some people decide to stay in school instead of drop out, and they decide to continue pursuing an education to better their life even if it means struggling to make ends meet in order to pay for school. Allowing prisoners free college is absolutely unnerving, I understand the concept and the idea behind it. What's to stop people from having the mindset, why make an honest living and pay for school when they can profit from illegal activities and the worst that can happen to them is go to prison, so they can receive a free education, and then they are still all set? I'm sorry but screw that. This is absurd. I'm going to make sure I increase my participation in voting, and campaigning to hopefully keep people like Governor Cuomo out of office. You want to provide criminals a free education but are opposed to the recreational use of marijuana? Very logical. Let me add, it is not in my best interest, a TAX PAYER, for prisoners to be provided with a free education.

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    melinda maycock

    2 months ago Comments: -
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    Brian Shoemaker

    2 months ago Comments: FUCK THEM
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    Thomas Raddatz

    2 months ago Comments: Say no to any free college. I worked my butt off to pay for school.
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