Cuomo Continues Push for Prison Education; Local Leader Remembers Time as Prison Teacher

- ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM-18) - As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), makes his case for offering college classes to prison inmates, a local business leader remembers teaching prison classes in the past. A similar program ran in state prisons until then-Governor George Pataki stopped it in the 1990s.

Cuomo wants to offer associate and bachelor's degrees in 10 state prisons. Speaking today, he again says the savings of education keeping inmates from returning to prison will greatly outweigh the cost of their classes.

Local industrial development leader George Miner used to teach classes, including to the famous "Long Island Lolita" criminal.

”There were some (inmates) that really wanted to learn and really wanted the opportunity to be rehabilitated and saw education as a way to do it,” said Miner, who taught classes for four years at several prisons. “I'm sure that there were plenty that just wanted to get out of that work detail.”

Miner says because he only saw inmates for a class at a time, it's hard to say how well the program worked. So, he says he can't give an opinion on whether the starting it again would be cost-effective.

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