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Online Learning Becomes Court-Ordered Community Service

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the fighting-crime-with-knowledge dept.

Education 160

An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo Finance reports that convicted criminal offenders can serve their court-ordered community service hours online by taking educational courses through Community Service Help. According to the article, there is a high correlation between criminal activity and lack of education. Who knew? 'About 40 percent of all U.S. prison inmates never finished high school, and nearly 44 percent of jail inmates did not complete high school. More current data shows that hasn't changed. In Washington, D.C., for instance, 44 percent of Department of Corrections inmates are not high school graduates. Less than 2 percent had 16 years or more of schooling.'"

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Go to jail (-1, Troll)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317573)

and get your degree on Uncle Sam...

Re:Go to jail (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317981)

Interesting that if you actually look at the site (Community Service Help), for a criminal to get involved in this "non-profit" organization, they need a credit card number and a Pay Pal account.

The whole Community Service Help Website reads like a sleazy advertisement. Note the picture of the smiling, big breasted girl showing her cleavage right on the front page of this "charity".

This whole business appears to be a Slash-vertisement. Couldn't Slashdot reference an academic journal instead of some sleaveball Website that seeks to profit off of vulnerable people?

References:
http://www.communityservicehelp.com/ [communityservicehelp.com]

Re:Go to jail (4, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318325)

Sadly profiting off of misery is a time honored tradition here in America, hell i wouldn't be surprised if over 75% of the "community service" forced upon people by the state didn't involve kickbacks or bribes. Its just slave labor, getting for free what one normally would have to pay for. Hell look at that judge that was sending kids to boot camp for any old reason he could think of because he was getting a kickback. in case you haven't noticed our courts have become just as corrupt as any banana republic, just sit in on some sessions and be prepared to be horrified. I have watched the rich walk away from some insanely long list of charges because his very expensive lawyer "had a quiet talk with the judge in the back" while some poor Rube with a $20 bag of weed got a year in prison. The only justice is what you can buy, no different than any South American hellhole we USED to make fun of. But power corrupts and money is power so now you have two systems, one for the rich, one for the poor.

Re:Go to jail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318809)

Sadly profiting off of misery is a time honored tradition here in America

Not profiting from of off from misery will not incentive them what is miserbal that they caused by definition them selve's to do any thing about the situation in witch they have caused themselfs, you are a commianist.

(roman_mir, couldn't log in jew too obama)

Re:Go to jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318679)

LOL What a creative way to soak the 'offender' and harvest personal information about people with criminal histories, and all in the name of efficiency!

The schpiel is: let "US" save YOU money by 'letting you' sign up with a non-profit using a web interface... All for JUST $49.95!

Then, after you've done your community service, we'll make sure that all the right organizations know who you are and where to find you.

I'd bet real bit-coin that the lists of people required to do community service are worth a pile of money. I'd even go so far as to wager that the politicos who orchestrate right-wing voter suppression efforts are involved in this business, directly or indirectly.

Re:Go to jail (1)

TobiX (565623) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318733)

> This whole business appears to be a Slash-vertisement.

Yes, because a substantial part of Slashdot's readership gets into trouble and needs to do community service on a regular basis. I can totally identify with the "bad boy" on that front page.

Re:Go to jail (1)

chromeronin (914748) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318871)

And the education stats quoted in the article, remember the "criminal" population is just a list of those who got caught. Maybe this just means those without higher education are simply more likely to get caught and prosecuted for their endevour. I'm sure if you included politicians in the mix it might lift the stats a little.

fisrt poaist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317575)

fromm muy jail sell! fukkin bullshiet storee i teel youh.

Great idea! (2, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317585)

More criminals online. Exactly what we needed.

Re:Great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318639)

Democrat Voters

Racial Breakdowns? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317587)

Interesting the breakdown of inmate by education. I wonder what the racial breakdowns of this as well.

Not to sound racist, but I do notice many inmates are negroes.

Re:Racial Breakdowns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317665)

We all noticed that a long time ago.

Re:Racial Breakdowns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317987)

Check out the statistics compiled from government sources here [colorofcrime.com]

Re:Racial Breakdowns? (1)

icqraid (2451822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318343)

Wikipedia's information of the New Century Foundation and the Pioneer Fund lead me to doubt the validity of this website.

Re:Racial Breakdowns? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318055)

Yes, they have a higher chance to get convicted and get longer sentences when committing the same crimes as other races. Just like men get longer sentences compared to women. Turns out getting judged by a jury of your so-called peers sucks in a world of rampant racism and sexism.

Re:Racial Breakdowns? (1, Flamebait)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318417)

Nice theory except it doesn't explain why a white woman is 17 times more likely to get raped by a black man than a black woman is to be raped by a white, or why you are on average 15 times more likely to get robbed by a black than a white. Lets cut the bull folks and speak the truth: 50 years of welfare has been more devastating to the black race than dropping an atomic bomb on them. You went from more than half the households being married to something like 9% now, it gave the lowest of the low an excuse to pop out kids they promptly abandoned or let run wild, and it gave rise to the "thug life!" "culture" which glorifies being the scummiest criminal you can be. Hell look at it, it glorifies the abuse of black women and violence and dope slinging. This when mixed with desegregation turned out to be a disaster because instead of having bankers and lawyers and doctors in the neighborhood to emulate all of those folks got the fuck out and all that was left was dealers and whores.

Lets face it folks, all a half a century of white guilt did was create a permanent "scum class" with a victim mentality and a seething hatred of anything "whitey" like education or even speaking proper English. I've seen it myself many a time, being hired to play "coming home" parties where getting out of prison is celebrated like you just got out of Harvard. Those that live the "thug life!" are treated well and looked up to, those that actually try to better themselves are attacked by the community. Frankly it shocked the hell out of me, because i'd never seen anything like it with ANY other race. in fact the last figures I saw stated that a black straight off the boat from Africa are more than 20 times more likely to become middle class than a black born here. Now you can scream 'racist!" all you want but it ain't whitey that is creating those numbers or forcing them to embrace victim mentality and "thug life!" culture, that's the blacks. I have been in the poor sections of just about every race and culture you can name and have NEVER seen such an attitude from anybody else, never.

Re:Racial Breakdowns? (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318567)

"You went from more than half the households being married to something like 9% now, it gave the lowest of the low an excuse to pop out kids they promptly abandoned or let run wild, and it gave rise to the "thug life!" "culture" which glorifies being the scummiest criminal you can be. Hell look at it, it glorifies the abuse of black women and violence and dope slinging."

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_1_59/ai_110361377/ [findarticles.com] - the article says 48% (down from 70%). So you're simply lying.

And about 'welfare class' - that's another simply quantifiable lie.

Re:Racial Breakdowns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318641)

Just because they get married doesn't mean they stay married or hang around as part of the household. His figures might be off, but most of his points still stand:
http://newsone.com/nation/newsonestaff3/children-single-parents-u-s-american/ [newsone.com]
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39993685/ns/health-womens_health/t/blacks-struggle-percent-unwed-mothers-rate/ [msn.com]
The US blacks have a self-destructive culture. They glorify what keeps them down.

Re:Racial Breakdowns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318793)

I agree. "The solution to pollution is (not) dilution." It doesn't work for sociology any better than it does for ecology.

Once again (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317593)

Correlation != cause. Educating them will just mean smarter criminals. Not everyone can work in banking.

Re:Once again (5, Informative)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317603)

Yes, only the smart criminals can work in banking!

Re:Once again (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318357)

See, I came to the comments for the same reason. Of course lack of education ends in you having to steal (even kill) when you can't find a job to support your activities (namely, family, drugs or whatever). But also this is not the reason the penal system is full with them, but also because they cannot afford a pool of lawyers to keep them out of there, as the bankers do.

Re:Once again (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317611)

Educating them will just mean smarter criminals. Not everyone can work in banking.

But the banks are hiring again, and we're running out of educated sociopaths, so they'll have to make do with educated convicts.

Re:Once again (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317663)

True ... some will need to go into Law or Politics.

Re:Once again (5, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317709)

You raise, a good point. The evidence suggests that to some extent criminals lack of education is caused by other variables that lead to both to criminality and make completing school more difficult. In particular, criminals have on average lower intelligence, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201006/why-criminals-are-less-intelligent-non-criminals [psychologytoday.com] poor impulse control,http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=101809 [psychiatryonline.org] and extremely high self-esteem ,http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/papers/baumeistersmartboden1996%5B1%5D.pdf [emotionalcompetency.com] , all of which are associated with doing poorly in school.

However, there's also evidence that some amount of criminal behavior is due to lower education reducing work opportunities. The most successful programs at reducing recidivism are those which educate the convicts. https://www.stcloudstate.edu/continuingstudies/distance/documents/CollegeEducationandRecidivismEducatingCriminalsisMeritorious1997.pdf [stcloudstate.edu] although the exact causes of this are unclear http://www.bop.gov/news/research_projects/published_reports/recidivism/orepredprg.pdf [bop.gov] . So, while there is a correlation v. causation issue, it does look like education genuinely helps.

Re:Once again (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317767)

Maybe the real reason is that educated criminals just commit legal crimes. I've recently read a study which said that being better off is associated with lack of empathy, lack of a sense of right and wrong, and lack of self reflection.
So I have my doubts about the project. What if (in contrast to g'parent post) they do become bankers? Is that really better? They can do much more harm there than as ordinary criminals, and because it's legal we can't lock 'm up any more.

Re:Once again (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317809)

Hey, thanks for that great writeup. I seem to never have mod points when I'd want to use them.

Re:Once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317837)

Hallelujah. I have more than a few issues of my own and I have always thought that mental illness was at the root of most "evils" of modern society.

Re:Once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317963)

You're still required to work on the assumption that lower intelligence, poor impulse control, and extremely high self-esteem are variables that cannot at the very least be mitigated, if not outright avoided in many cases, by proper education. It's still up for debate, but the Flynn effect seems to suggest otherwise.

Re:Once again (2)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318073)

I don't believe lack of education makes one more likely to commit crime, only more likely to get caught. Smart and educated criminals will get away with their crime far more often than those who are stupid and lack education.

Re:Once again (1)

WoodstockJeff (568111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317771)

I don't see why this was moderated to "funny"...

As some one else said, there are a lot of reasons why people drop out of high school. Many of the dropouts I know dropped out because they were already into criminal behavior, and school "cramped their style". Did dropping out cause their criminal activity, as these studies suggest? No, quite the opposite!

Re:Once again (2)

priceslasher (2102064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317911)

Does the study suggest that dropping out causes criminal behavior (or just increases)? Everyone in prison isn't necessarily pathologically anti social or destructive, and even teenagers mellow out eventually.

Re:Once again (2)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318347)

I wonder if it would help if our (at least in the US) public school system wasn't such a piece of garbage...

Re:Once again (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317813)

> Educating them will just mean smarter criminals.

Not true! They could become lawyers!

Oh...

Re:Once again (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317997)

Yes, some will. But there's always the chance and hope that at least SOME will get smarter.

Re:Once again (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317983)

But very few can work in unskilled labor, those jobs are practically going away not to mention when the going gets tough you're in competition with all the skilled labor too. I remember there was an article here in Norway about a position as warehouse assistant, they got 3-400 applicants and the job market here isn't even tough. If it had been I'm guessing 1000+ applicants because it's the kind of job absolutely everyone can do. But there's a very limited number of McJobs and even most of those want people that have worked retail before plus domain experience like working with food. You don't need qualifications to stand on the street corner and sell drugs or break windows and steal shit. Of course some would continue to be criminals, but I think a lot of them did because they failed at everything else.

Of course this is just highly anecdotal, but at least on my school I'd say there was a group of losers that compensated by being badass. Drinking, smoking, talking tough and following through if necessary, breaking the rules - if they couldn't be successful at school they'd make their own kind of success. They were attractive to the kind of girls that like "bad boys" too, that was important in that age. Particularly since those that were neither badass nor did well weren't treated very nice. But once that becomes the defining order, it escalates. You're not drinking beers to be badass, you're drinking liquor. Or you're doing drugs. You're not breaking school rules, you're shoplifting. And as everyone else's opinion of you deteriorates - other school mates, parents etc. your standing in the gang only becomes more important.

I'm not talking about street gangs in New York here, I'm talking about a fairly quiet suburb in low crime Norway. I'm thinking this is a pattern that exists more or less all over the world, of course it doesn't explain all crime but I think it explains a lot of petty crime, the kind people say came from "hanging with a bad crowd". And yes, I'd say failing at school is a leading cause as to why people start doing that. I'm not so sure it'll help though, most of these people were failing for a reason and they're not going to be the brightest even if they get remedial education. But maybe it can give them some sense of achievement on the other scale, they might not win any Nobel prizes but they're making a honest living. It's at least a chance to getting out of a bad circle if they're willing to take it.

Re:Once again (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318739)

You don't need qualifications to stand on the street corner and sell drugs or break windows and steal shit. Of course some would continue to be criminals, but I think a lot of them did because they failed at everything else.

Which is why in rich countries it might not be such a bad idea to give everyone a basic income ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income [wikipedia.org] ), and have compulsory high-quality preschool education so that at least more grow up to be useful people. Unless you execute them, you're going to pay for these "dropouts" one way or another. If there are fewer and fewer jobs for their ability what do we expect them to do? Die? No matter how much you train a dog it's not going to write automation programs for Google Data Centers. And you don't need millions of programmers.

As for your other important point, yes humans are pack animals. If society kicks them out of the main pack, they will find a different pack. If you do not provide them a suitable and less problematic pack to belong to, they will join gangs (and return to gangs ).

We need to address both the needs above - the basic needs and the social needs. Providing just the basic needs will just generate gangsters who'd use their basic income to fund crime.

Re:Once again (2)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318659)

'About 40 percent of all U.S. prison inmates never finished high school, and nearly 44 percent of jail inmates did not complete high school.

Oh my god! This means that 60% of prison inmates did finish high school, and 56% of jail inmates finished high school too! Surely this means that we should ban all high schools!

Re:Once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318767)

the world needs ditch-diggers, too.

Uhh... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317595)

Does that mean educated people are less criminal or just better in hiding their crimes ?

And in the latter case, doe we really want to educate criminals ?

Re:Uhh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317609)

My thought exactly. The people incarcerated are generally just even stupider than cops...

Re:Uhh... (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318037)

That wouldn't explain the high percentage of the US population in jail.

Bert
Who remembers an item by Michael Moore (or an assistant of his, if I recall correctly), where a guy couldn't become a cop because there is an intelligence test for cops and if you're too smart you can't be hired. The last sentence of the cops' spokesman before the door is closed is priceless: We're there to protect crime. The reporter is flabbergasted: Did he really say that?

Re:Uhh... (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318421)

That wouldn't explain the high percentage of the US population in jail.

The "war on drugs," or more accurately, "prosecuting people for victimless crimes," is probably a pretty good explanation...

Re:Uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317695)

If you could somehow give everyone a decent job, I suspect you could eliminate most of the crime. You'd still have psychopaths who kill people for fun, and successful white collar criminals who think it's a good way to make a living.

Re:Uhh... (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317697)

A lot of criminals commit crimes because they don't believe that they have any options. You put them in prison and they come out and still can't get a job (especially now that they have a record), so what do they do? Commit more crimes. Give them some useful skills, and they see that they do have a choice.

A small minority are just naturally and incurably sociopathic. Most of these work in management...

Re:Uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317749)

[citation needed]

Re:Uhh... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318001)

Sounds quite logical to me, what inconsistencies do you see in his theory?

Re:Uhh... (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318429)

I think he's looking for actual evidence and not just someone saying that they think it's true.

Re:Uhh... (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318481)

[citation needed]

Sounds quite logical to me, what inconsistencies do you see in his theory?

"citation needed" doesn't mean that the whole thing is bullshit, just that somebody would like to see something other than speculation on the topic.

The idea that heavier objects fall faster is reasonable and logical too, it's just not correct.

Re:Uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318061)

A lot of criminals commit crimes because they don't believe that they have any options. You put them in prison and they come out and still can't get a job (especially now that they have a record), so what do they do? Commit more crimes. Give them some useful skills, and they see that they do have a choice.

This begs the question: will education in useful/employable skills result in their leaving crime to become a productive member of society. They likely don't have an education because they lack innate self-control and/or the ability to delay gratification. Then there is the problem of just raw stupidity, nach _The_Bell_Curve_. Simply providing a skill set (even if possible) is unlikely to magically solve either of these problems.

That said, there are some incarcerated individuals who want to improve themselves (and are the ones most likely to be capable of change.) This is where the limited resources should be applied. Otherwise we are just urinating into the wind.

Re:Uhh... (2)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318469)

You put them in prison and they come out and still can't get a job (especially now that they have a record), so what do they do? Commit more crimes. Give them some useful skills, and they see that they do have a choice.

This presumes that having skills gives them a choice. Unfortunately, their record means getting a job is still basically impossible. Perhaps the best education we could give them is to teach them how to start and run successful small businesses, because people don't check the records of those they do business with. Of course, the ex-con had better not need a bank loan. And an education in business administration may just make an ex-con a more effective/efficient drug dealer.

I don't know that there's a better way. If I were an employer, I wouldn't want to hire an ex-con. But the way the system works now means that people who do one stupid thing can be screwed for life.

Re:Uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318737)

useful skills. that should be the key to the conversation. an attempt to displace the criminal skils with useful skills should be seen as a valid attempt at reform.

Re:Uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317791)

Yes, and some education is criminal.

University of Hard Knocks : we have nearly 100 percent placement.

Teaching the curve not the median (5, Interesting)

awilden (110846) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317615)

Of course there are many reasons that people don't finish school. Sometimes it's because they're not smart enough. Other times it's because they're bored out of their skulls, or family issues are pulling them away, or a million other reasons. Maybe this should be interpreted as yet another reason that we need to revamp schools so that they do more than just deliver a "one-size-fits-all" education to the middle of the bell curve. Education is expensive, but prison is far more expensive.

Re:Teaching the curve not the median (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317651)

Education is expensive, but prison is far more expensive.

Not if you try to customize every kids education. You'd have to turn that sentence around. Look, if you don't like the education system, home school your kid.
Plus, privatizing prisons is extremely lucrative for business and creates tons of jobs.

Re:Teaching the curve not the median (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317703)

Fortunately we are only at the beginning of the "private prison" experiment in the UK, so I have to ask: why don't prisoners just refuse to work? I guess that there will be loss of privileges if some don't, but why don't they all just refuse? Are we at the stage where food/water is withdrawn entirely, or people beaten, in the style of a concentration camp?

Re:Teaching the curve not the median (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317711)

Customising isn't that hard, if done at the correct granularity. My school split the year group into about smaller classes for each subject. Most of these were streamed based on ability so if you were, for example, gifted at mathematics but not at French then you'd be in a class learning mathematics faster but a slower French class. This used to be common in the UK, before the governments of the '70s and '80s decided that judging people based on their ability was elitist and therefore bad.

Re:Teaching the curve not the median (2)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317891)

Privatizing prisons is insane, it creates an incentive for throwing more people in jail..

Re:Teaching the curve not the median (4, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318671)

Privatizing prisons is insane, it creates an incentive for throwing more people in jail..

Those incentives exist with or without private prisons. Plenty of people profit from government run prisons. For instance, here in California, the prison guard unions spend huge amounts of money promoting tougher sentencing. This includes donations to politicians that vote for tougher laws, and financing the "Three Strikes" voter initiative. We have prisoners serving 25 years for stealing a pair of socks.

Re:Teaching the curve not the median (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318015)

Well, it doesn't really create any jobs that weren't there when it was state run... but indirectly, it does. By throwing more people into jail, you not only reduce the number of people who are competing for jobs, but you also have to hire a few goons to keep them from getting away.

The system works!

Re:Teaching the curve not the median (1)

Alan R Light (1277886) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318131)

In the U.S., inflation-adjusted spending on education has more than tripled in the last 50 years, while outcomes have remained flat.

One-room schoolhouses have a better track record of educational achievement than our modern system.

We could probably reduce spending on education and reduce the need and expense of prisons, but those who make the decisions don't want that. The education system is doing what it was intended to do: dumb down the population. And it's doing it well.

Re:Teaching the curve not the median (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318281)

This.

Re:Teaching the curve not the median (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317679)

But prisoners sometimes are used for customer service and apple picking [komonews.com] . Are we sure prison is more expensive? I see it as slave labour.

Yes, the problem with education is that it is expensive. Maybe if we didn't spend so much on "defense" here in America we could devote more towards k-12 and higher education.

I figure there's roughly 50 million k-12. If we gave them each a voucher to use at a school of their choice (yes, including public schools) for $3k (with 1/3rd used to create free/better lunches), I think it would be significant. So if a school has 1000 high school students, you can figure that's an extra $2 million ($1 million for free/better lunches). Hiring homework graders would be a start to provide teacher relief. Maybe they could devote more time towards helping students after school.

Higher education... anyone care to talk about that? State governments can't afford to provide all necessary funding to their public colleges to keep tuition low.

Re:Teaching the curve not the median (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317725)

Are we sure prison is more expensive? I see it as slave labour.

Slaves are expensive. It costs something like $40k/year to incarcerate someone. If they're working the equivalent of a minimum wage job at the same time, then it's not really a good investment.

Re:Teaching the curve not the median (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317785)

But it's "subsidized" by taxpayers though.

Sign me up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317653)

Check out the girl on the main page... Sign me up!

Re:Sign me up! (1)

mcavic (2007672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317717)

Yeah, but is that her boyfriend? He could beat me up with one hand.

Re:Sign me up! (1)

xeoron (639412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317889)

All you need is some bear mace. If it can bring down a bear, you know you should be safe, unless they are immune to pepper spray.

Re:Sign me up! (2)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317919)

Yeah, but is that her boyfriend? He could beat me up with one hand.

He's wearing a Bob Marley Festival tee-shirt. Obviously a non-violent drug offender busted for lighting up to get closer to God.

Re:Sign me up! (2)

gambino21 (809810) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317773)

Check out the girl on the main page... Sign me up!

And compare her with the unshaved, tattooed man. I guess they're trying to promote the (educated) bad boy gets the girl stereotype.

This is for small crimes only (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317655)

So it makes sense to do this. The jails are overcrowded already and it forces people to get educated, which should help them gets jobs. I would image many of people are doing this because a) they are bored, b) need money so they steal or c stupid or d) a combination of a, b, and c.

Re:This is for small crimes only (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318033)

You think that's a good thing? Think again:

1. These people have a prior conviction.
2. Any job these people could possibly apply for will be competed over by far more applicants than there are jobs.
3. To have ANY chance to be chosen, these people would have to offer their workforce at a far lower price than anyone else.

In a nutshell, if it accomplishes anything, it's more pressure on "honest" people and, in the end, lower wages for everyone.

I don't think they became criminals... (2, Insightful)

dtmancom (925636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317657)

I don't think they became criminals because they didn't finish high school. Perhaps they didn't finish high school because they were already inclined to become criminals. My logic is as sound as theirs.

Re:I don't think they became criminals... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317823)

you have both kinds, but the fact remains that programmes that educate convicts can dramatical reduce the number of re-offenders. which is what you want out of a 'correctional facility' right?

Re:I don't think they became criminals... (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317869)

But then that means less money for these private prisons.

Repeated (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317677)

33% of statistics are simply repeated. Of cited statistics 67% are not repeated. More recently 33% of statistics were repeated.

In other news... (3)

jouassou (1854178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317691)

"...give me all yo' money, or I'll bust yo' ass like Atahualpa at Cajamarca!"

Correlation != Causation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317713)

It could be that there's another underlying cause that tends to make one act criminally and avoid education...

HS education=compliance=no jail (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317793)

The sort of people sufficiently compliant to complete high school are the sort of people sufficiently compliant to think that we must do what we're told.

I have excellent school and university grades (mathematics, not some wishy social science). It was a waste of fucking time. I've stopped respecting the law. I shouldn't have bothered in the first place. Maybe one day I'll end up in jail. Who cares? Most people were quicker than me and learnt this lesson earlier.

And before you wonder, no, most people aren't locked up forever. You do your time, you make a life for yourself in jail, you come out again, do something outside jail, perhaps you get caught again.

Re:HS education=compliance=no jail (1)

jouassou (1854178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317933)

I have excellent school and university grades. It was a waste of fucking time. I've stopped respecting the law.

I don't get your reasoning; the law didn't force you to attend university, you made that choice.

Re:HS education=compliance=no jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318115)

The point, my slow friend, is that "going to high school and university" and "respecting the law" are both constituents of "taking part in a worthwhile society".

There is no worthwhile society to take part in.

Re:HS education=compliance=no jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318451)

Hey genius, maybe if you had studied "wishy social sciences" instead of some abstract bullshit totally divorced from reality you would have realized what a scam capitalist civilization is a lot sooner. Ever met an anthropologist or sociologist who actually thinks we have a healthy and well functioning society?

Doesn't that mean that 60%... (0)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317815)

Did graduate? We should stop educating people because it leads to a life of crime. 3 out of 5 people in jail did graduate compared to 2 out of 5.. Clearly graduation is correlated with a life of crime. Plus who wants smart criminals?

The obvious solution (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317925)

The obvious solution is to lower the requirements for gradution. Give everyone a sticker star, everyone's special. After all, if you have the right to a public education, why not have the right to a diploma too? Then once everyone has a piece of paper they didn't do any work to get, none of the criminals will have graduated from high school. Problem solved.

Wrong correlation (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317979)

There is a correlation between a lack of education and a conviction.

If you're educated enough you can easily avoid jail time.

copyright concerns (1)

can.you.feel.my.808 (1322153) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318031)

the online learning comprises embedded youtube khanacademy.org videos.. i wonder if they are breaking any copyright laws by using these

thats the worst part of jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318127)

99% of people are just stupid as shit. getting into fights is at least kind of exciting, as bad as that sounds. listening to uneducated fuckfaces talking about dumb shit all day is the real torture of jail.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318181)

Isn't high school mandatory in the USA?

Re:WTF (2)

MLease (652529) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318331)

No. At least, one is not legally required to obtain a high school diploma. I believe most states permit people to drop out of high school at the age of 16, though there may be parental permission required to so so, etc. And, of course, most jobs require a minimum of a high school diploma. But as far as the law is concerned, it's not mandatory.

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318619)

Also, kids that get in a lot of legal trouble tend not to be able to finish a high school diploma. Juvenile detention centers do teach classes, but the credits end up being so fragmented as kids jump between detention and regular school that it's difficult for them to actually fulfill the requirements -- and that assumes they don't just fail their classes anyway.

I have personal experience with this. My daughter is very bright and capable, but suffers from a severe emotional disorder which leads her to make a lot of dumb decisions. Even though she typically does very well in school, her time in treatment centers, trouble with the law, expulsions from schools, etc., mean that she's chronically behind on credits. For example, she completed much of the first semester of Calculus this year (as a junior), but then got in trouble and ended up getting no math credit at all. She's now in a residential treatment center and taking dum-dum math because it's all they offer, but won't get any credit for it because she's already done it.

In her case, because she's so bright, the solution will likely be to take the GED as soon as the state will let her, and she'll pass it handily. Or else I'll pay for summer school classes, or something similar. She's smart enough, and has involved parents, so she has a chance to be able to make it. Kids with similar issues but without similar advantages are really screwed. Of course, if she can't learn to manage her mental illness -- which is very, very hard to do -- she's going to be screwed, too. We try to help every way we can, but we can't live her life for her, and as she becomes an adult the consequences of bad decisions are going to become even more severe.

Reeducation (1)

KPU (118762) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318207)

It's all about spin. "I sentence you to 30 days of reeducation." How does that sound?

educated criminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318251)

Or is it simply that the vast majority of those in prison lack the education required to be successful criminals? They aren't educated enough to not get caught, and when caught, to work the systems to avoid prison? If you educate an amoral convict, why do you assume you are making anything other than an educated and far more effective criminal?

I'm not against education, I just don't believe it is the magical solution to crime. Correlation and causation, AGAIN!

Funding? (1)

TechieRefugee (2105386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318327)

My only question is where the funding for this kind of stuff is coming from? Is it all gonna be taxpayer dollars, or is there going to be a "Serial Murderer" discount at your nearest University of Phoenix?

Here's a crazy idea: Freedom of Association (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318407)

How about allowing all those of us who simply don't want to live with criminals, to FREELY ASSOCIATE with only non-criminals?

What a crazy idea! We can't have that! How would all the poor, hard done by criminals survive, without the law abiding to leech off of?

Who makes their food, makes their clothes, builds the houses they live in, provide the hospitals for their bastard offspring, etc.?

US! The hard working, law abiding sheep, who have to pay taxes to support the very scum who are ruining our lives!

How many people would actually CHOOSE to live in a society with criminals in it? Obviously only a small percentage. (I believe they are called 'liberals'...)

Re:Here's a crazy idea: Freedom of Association (0)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318521)

Who makes their food,

Mexicans

makes their clothes,

Chinese children

builds the houses they live in,

Hondurans

provide the hospitals for their bastard offspring, etc.?

Jews.

No wonder (1)

a-zA-Z0-9$_.+!*'(),x (1468865) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318459)

The educated criminals go into politics.

There is a correlation between being caught... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318545)

...at criminal activity and lack of education.

"Who knew?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39318803)

I knew that
B|
Apparently...almost everyone knew most criminals did not finish high school because of

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