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Schools Not Prisons!....Oh....Wait.......

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One of the favorite slogans of the "Incarceration Nation" crowd is, "Schools Not Prisons!"  This is shorthand for the argument, such as it is, that the money we spend on prisons would be better spent on schools.

There are at least two tacit assumptions going on here.  The first is that we're not getting all that much for the money we spend on imprisonment.  The second is that we'd get a good  return, or at least a better one, by putting the money into education.

Both assumptions are, not merely wrong, but demonstrably preposterous.  I have shown previously that the money we invest in imprisonment has reduced serious crime  -- murder, rape, robbery and so  on  --  by more than one million episodes a year.  I am not aware of any domestic program, ever, that has had such dramatic and beneficial results.

And what's the return on the much larger amount of money we have spent on education?  While billions upon billions have been poured into schools and  teachers, and education spending per pupil has doubled over the last forty years, the improvement in educational attainment has been  --  ready now?  --  zip.

That's  zip, as  in zero.  The charts tell the tale (courtesy of John Hinderaker at Powerline).  This is something to remember next time someone from Occupy Wall Street, or whatever, starts chanting "Schools Not Prisons."

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The cause of most crime is not poor schools due to a lack of funding. Our nation's poor schools are not the problem, they are a symptom of the problem.

The problem is the demise of traditional values, which has destroyed the traditional family. Too many of these kids enter kindergarten as damaged goods and no amount of money spent on schools can fix that. Subsequently, they turn to crime.

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