State and local spending on prisons and jails has grown three times as much over the past three decades as spending on public education for preschool through high school, according to a new analysis of federal data by the U.S. Education Department.
The analysis, released Thursday, comes amid growing bipartisan agreement about the need for criminal justice reform, and argues that taxpayers and public safety would be better served by redirecting investments from incarceration to public schools.
“A variety of studies have suggested that investing more in education, particularly targeted toward at-risk communities, could achieve crime reduction without the heavy social costs that high incarceration rates impose on individuals, families, and communities,” it says.
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