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Jerry Brown’s Prison Priorities Hurt California Public Schools

January 14, 2011

Governor Jerry Brown wants to reduce the California’s $9B prison budget by housing more state inmates in county jails and eliminating the Division of Juvenile Justice, formerly the California Youth Authority. Reporters covering budget stories should ask if the time has come to re-examine current public policies that have resulted in California spending 6 times more on each prisoner than it does on each K-12 student.

In her inaugural address, Attorney General Kamala Harris said California “must recognize the connection between public safety and public education.” Reporters should also look at the connection between how those policies result in African Americans accounting for nearly 30 percent of all prisoners, despite being only 12 percent of the state’s population.

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