No wonder Massachusetts spends more on incarceration then education. Each adolescent committed to the Department of Youth Services costs $23,000 a year – the tuition and fees at a community college are about $3000 a year.
Each young adult committed to a state correctional facility costs over $40,000 a year – and in the mean time, children are fatherless and motherless, and once released, these folk cannot get jobs or go into housing, leaving recidivism sometimes the only way to get fed and housed.
Apparently, the vast number of these folks are nonviolent offenders, with drug use and addiction or illegal economic activity arising from the drug trade and the failure to invest in our educational infrastructure including updated vocational education the culprit. We need 90,000 new workers trained as laboratory techs and data workers that we are importing from elsewhere because Massachusetts is not educating its own – we are incarcerating them instead.
We can do better – this is not a matter of rhetoric but governance. Apparently, Massachusetts for all its vaunted educational institutions received a c- in governance while Washington State got an A-. You don’t have to take my word for it:
Maybe we need to elect more officials with degrees in governance-related fields who know what the word “performancestat” means, and who can read and use statistics and planning tools. What a novel concept…