You’ve heard the old story: you go to prison, you learn to read, get a GED, maybe even a college degree, and you come out and you can make good on life. There are even some famous iterations of that old saw (James Brown comes to mind).

Mostly, it’s just a story these days. Cause, ya see, rehabilitation isn’t what prisons are about any more (never really were, but once upon a time they were to a greater extent than they are now).

That little rehabilitation happens in prison is not all that news worthy. What is, is this piece from the San Jose Mercury News reporting that prison programs in Santa Clara County had been cut a while back, including literacy classes and counseling to trauma victims, and are now being reinstated. Not out of benevolence on the part of Santa Clara County, but as the result of a class action law suit.

See…wait for it…there was money there.

There was a special pot of money for prison programming, swollen by extra fees that prisoners pay for commissary goods and phone calls, but the money wasn’t being used for its intended purpose. It was used for prison guard salaries. Brilliant.

ColinAsher

ColinAsher