The title of this post recounts the incessant refrain of those who want to de-fund building prisons, allegedly in the name of using the money for the wiser and more humane "investment" in education.
It's a head fake, and has beans to do with wise investments. What is has to do with is turning up the volume of the crescendo that we have to reduce sentences and indulge in willy-nilly early release of criminals because -- guess what -- we don't have enough prison space. It's also about laying the predicate for suits like Plata, the Mother of Unearned Early Release.
But let's do a thought experiment, and suppose that the cry really is about conserving money for education. Is that what really happens? Take a look. What actually happens is profligacy on a mind-bending scale. Far from benefiting, the students whose welfare is supposedly being served are being mortgaged to a gargantuan debt they couldn't pay off if they all became Stanford Ph.D.'s -- which, given the quality of the dumbed-down education they actually get, isn't about to happen anyway.
And this is not to mention the recently built half-billion dollar high school. But don't get me started.