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Old 11-04-2012, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,840,949 times
Reputation: 7732

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Colorado spending $208 million on empty solitary confinement prison
POSTED: 11/04/2012 12:01:00 AM MDT
UPDATED: 11/04/2012 12:23:17 AM MDT By David Olinger
The Denver Post

Quote:
CAÑON CITY —
Three days ago, Colorado shut down a brand-new prison it didn't need.

Quote:
Yet it was built.

It was built even though most legislators opposed the prison in 2003, according to a key player. Another bit of legislative ingenuity overcame that problem. The sponsors lumped the prison with a new University of Colorado medical campus and gained bipartisan support for two projects financed without a vote of the people.

Separately, neither project would have passed, according to Republican Norma Anderson, the Senate majority leader and bill sponsor in 2003.

"You couldn't get the votes for either one of them," said Anderson, now a former legislator living in Lakewood.

Republicans wanted the prison, Democrats the hospitals, and "that's the only reason they were put together," she said. "It's very simple."
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:36 AM
 
863 posts, read 1,309,860 times
Reputation: 668
They should convert the prison into a school. Most schools feel like that anyway.........

:-P



*if anyone took that seriously, go lighten up
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,840,949 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
Colorado spending $208 million on empty solitary confinement prison
POSTED: 11/04/2012 12:01:00 AM MDT
UPDATED: 11/04/2012 12:23:17 AM MDT By David Olinger
The Denver Post
Oops, I don't know how I left the link off of this.

Colorado spending $208 million on empty solitary confinement prison - The Denver Post
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,840,949 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollyt00 View Post
They should convert the prison into a school. Most schools feel like that anyway.........

:-P



*if anyone took that seriously, go lighten up
LOL, thats so true. The Jr. High School I attended had been built in the early 1960s. It was constructed in a series of Pods (just like prison pods) connected by hallways. The High School I attended was constructed in the early 1970s and was an all concrete building with limited windows.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:09 AM
 
1,742 posts, read 2,690,109 times
Reputation: 1925
This is political, Mike, better scold them.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:58 AM
 
20,836 posts, read 39,046,511 times
Reputation: 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by proveick View Post
This is political, Mike, better scold them.
I'll wait until someone suggests using it as another FEMA death camp....never can have too many death camps in conspiracy-theory wacko land.

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Old 11-05-2012, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,840,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proveick View Post
This is political, Mike, better scold them.
Are Colorado political issues, unacceptable for discussion in the Colorado forum? I know some people like to keep these forums happy positive talk. Like talking about how Colorado has over 300 days of sunshine a year, and this is not that type of positive thread.

But seriously, $208 million is a lot of waste for a state the size of Colorado. Thats like $40 for every single Coloradan, just down the drain. Which is like a drop in the bucket compared to the money RTD is wasting.

I would think somebody should be talking it, somewhere.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:18 PM
 
20,836 posts, read 39,046,511 times
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Keep in mind that the primary purpose of city-data is for relocation. I allow only a rare political thread in here provided that it's centered on COLO, and this topic is, but if we get a proliferation of colorado politics in the colo forums, I'll probably close/delete them all.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:11 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,019,284 times
Reputation: 2622
Wink An education in priorities

"Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It's like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won't fatten the dog."
— Mark Twain



I recently heard an interesting statistic: that California spends more on its prisons than on its once vaunted higher education system. It turns out the Golden State is not alone, with Colorado as well favoring prisons over higher education. Quality of schooling being a consideration in relocation.

As precursor, it might be noted that Colorado ranks 49th on higher education spending, and only marginally better on K-12.[1][8] So the die is in effect cast for many, as this nation now ranks below Europe in the possibility of upward mobility, and increasingly the reality that one's position at birth will dictate throughout life their relative position in society, income, etc. As crime and incarceration are closely associated with poverty (as few with trust funds see much need to rob a 7-11), an increasing bottom strata of society will have all the more opportunity for state sponsored housing (behind bars).

By some measures Colorado has a very efficient education system, ranking one or two nationally in graduates from higher education produced per dollar spent. This is achieved in part through a perhaps commendably lean staff in administrative and faculty positions. Moreover with tuition costs near the national average. Yet this state does not excel in the number of residents able to access this system, particularly minorities and the poor.[2]

In FY 2011-12 Colorado spent $519,040,694 on higher education. That would break down as $11,190,415 for Adams State College in Alamosa, $9,323,117 for Fort Lewis College in Durango, almost $113m for community colleges, the lions share to CSU and CU, and so on.[3]

In contrast, prisons are a growth industry in Colorado. There are currently 23 state prisons, with six private; over 24% of prisoners in Colorado are housed in private prisons. As of 2008, there were 23,144 inmates, with 8,844 people on parole. If having slowed of late, in the last twenty years Colorado's prison population increased four-fold. It is expected to be over 27,000 by 2013.[4]

At 506 per 100,000, Colorado has a significantly higher incarceration rate than the national average of 462. Thus leading a trend which sees the United States not only with a larger military budget than the rest of the world combined[5]; and the largest prison population in the world, whether measured in total number or per capita, with one quarter of the world's prisoners against 5% of global population.[6] In example, contrast Colorado's incarceration rate of 506 against Mexico (191), England and Wales (145), Canada (116), or perhaps Sweden (81).[4]

Colorado's Department of Corrections had a 2010 budget of $584.7m, with a total state cost of $606.2m.[7] At $30,374, its average annual cost per inmate is far higher than the amount in education spent per pupil. Indeed in the amount spent by Coloradoans on education relative to income in the state, only Florida ranked lower.[8]

Maybe commendable that Colorado's schools are still as good as they are considering the frugal funding. Perhaps some of this money would be better spent on trade schools, specifically in criminology, as the growth sector in this state would seem to be prisons—and where many of these students will end up anyway, one way or the other.


1) 'Statistics,' Great Education Colorado
Statistics | Great Education Colorado

2) 'Efficiency in Colorado State Government: Higher Education,' Beuchner Institute for Governance
http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/co...ocuments/Teske Higher Ed Report_WORKING DRAFT.pdf

3) 'FY 2012-13 Staff Budget Briefing, Department of Higher Education,' Colorado General Assembly Joint Budget Committee
http://www.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_d...-12/hedbrf.pdf

4) '2010 Colorado Quick Facts,' Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition
www.ccjrc.org/pdf/2010_Colorado_Quick_Facts.pdf

5) 'Jon Huntsman says the U.S. spends more than all other countries combined on defense,' PolitiFact.com
PolitiFact | Jon Huntsman says the U.S. spends more than all other countries combined on defense

6) 'U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations,' The New York Times
U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations - The New York Times

7) 'The Price of Prisons, Colorado,' Vera Institute of Justice
http://www.vera.org/files/price-of-p...revised-v2.pdf

8) 'Colorado at 40th in K-12 funds per student,' The Denver Post
Colorado at 40th in K-12 funds per student - The Denver Post
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:34 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,777,680 times
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Unfortunately, the trend in prisons and education will likely continue. The reason essentially stems from the same cause: lousy parenting. Public education is in decline in the US because the schools have been transformed from a primary purpose of education to being a day-care center for children and to being a surrogate parent. They were never designed to be either, and the results are what we see today. Similarly, lousy parenting predisposes many children to exhibit criminal and anti-social behavior both in the schools and later as adults. The former decreases the educational effectiveness for the schools for all students, not just the miscreants; the latter provides the human fodder that increasingly finds its way into the correctional system. Until good parenting returns as a primary focus of people having children, the social problems of failing schools and proliferating prisons is going to continue. And, no, lousy parenting is not just a domain of the poor--from what I see, it's often just as common in the middle class and wealthy--the major difference being that the middle-class and wealthy criminals are often more able to buy their way out of trouble than can the impoverished. In fact, there are plenty of people of modest means who are still able to be fine parents; and plenty of the affluent who don't give a crap about their children.

Bluntly, too, Colorado has as high, if not a higher percentage of lousy parenting and dysfunctional families than anyplace else in the country.

As for the prison, I haven't seen much to convince me that the facility was not needed, just that the state funded its construction, but insufficient funds to actually operate it.
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