State budget cuts have ended a program at my alma mater:
The Indiana Department of Correction has no firm plans yet to address budget cuts to correctional education.
The state Legislature last year cut off Frank O'Bannon grants to offenders attending college in state prisons, including about 1,000 enrolled at Ball State University.
As the funding ran out, so did jobs for all but four of the nearly 80 BSU employees, mostly part-time adjunct faculty, employed as prison educators.
It's hard to justify to Hoosiers why prison inmates should get something for free that is being priced out of reach for ordinary, law-abiding citizens. But of course that's the main complaint about the entitlement society in general -- that the productive are penalized to provide for the non-productive.
I understand the practical reasons for educating inmates -- it increases the chances of post-incarceration employment, which decreases the number of recidivists and career criminals, making us safer in the long run. But it's difficult to muster enthusiastic support for the idea on a moral level.