POLICE STATE USA: California spending more on prisons than colleges: Report

Police officers stand guard at the gate of San Quentin prison in California, the United States. (File photo)

A recent report has disclosed that authorities in the most populous US state of California are spending more on detention centers than higher education.

(PressTV) The report, released by the non-partisan public policy group California Common Sense and entitled Winners and Losers: Corrections and Higher Education in California, takes a look at the state’s general fund spending on prisons and colleges from the period between 1981 and 2011, The Huffington Post reported on Friday.

The study highlights that higher education expenditure has contracted by 13 percent since 1980, whereas spending on California’s prisons and associated correctional programs has skyrocketed by 436 percent.

The findings show that the state’s overall education spending dwarfs its prison expenditures.

The report notes that fifty-five percent of the growth of corrections spending is the result of the state simply putting more people in jail.

Over the past three decades, the number of prisoners in California detention facilities has swelled eight times faster than size of the overall population.

The report clarifies that while the average salaries for higher education employees have stagnated or even dropped with regard to inflation, correctional officers in California have seen sustained pay rises.

The report also states that in 1980, over two-thirds of all the money spent on secondary education came from the state government. At present, that percentage has shrunk to about one-fourth.

As a result, the higher education system has been forced to depend more heavily on student tuition — which has resulted in frequent student protests.

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