Monday, October 8, 2007

Three Times as Much

How much more money the State of California spends to run its prisons as it spends to run the UC system according to Richard C. Paddock's reporting in the LA Times. Of course UC is only the top of the larger pyramid of state supported higher education with many more students attending Cal State University campuses and community colleges. Still the two systems looked more closer in scale during the 1960s when the UC system was building its 8th campus at Santa Cruz and the Department of Corrections was operating around a dozen institutions.

1 comment:

kirk boyd said...

This short post cuts to the heart of the stupidity of governing through crime: it's bad judgment. Since the 1960s we have misdirected our resources into penal institutions instead of educational institutions. And it's not just the poor who are suffering from this poor judgment, high school students throughout California must have nearly 4.0 grade point averages to get into the UC system.

Governing through crime is about hierarchy, and the maintenance of it. This hierarchy is not just at the state level, but at the international level as well. As governing through crime, the book, points out, the United States is taking a penal approach to the world. All along the way, neither the state, nor the nation is answering the question posed in the book "why do they hate us so much"

But the answer simple, whether it lack of access to the UC, or no primary education at all, it is the lack of integration into our society, at both the local and international level, that results in sociopathic behaviors such as crime and terrorism. In a way these behaviors are not even sociopathic in that the term implies a variation from the existing social order. The fact is people have already been excluded from the social order they vary from. It's time for us to recognize that much of the crime and terrorism we suffer is a byproduct of what a broken penal machine is producing. Recognizing a right to education, including higher education, as an enforceable human right is an important step to correcting this imbalance.