In 2016 Richard Light proposed and presented this Rebudget for the State of Maine during his campaign to educate Mainers on the costs of Maine's institutional system. As well received as the information was, Maine legislators and Maine's crony bureaucracies rejected and buried this paper.

In 2018, Maine legislators and their cronies will not be able to stop Mainers form hearing real plans and strategies for Maine's economic future!

Thank you for joining the battle and staying aware of the world outside of the limits which the media and plutocracy force on Mainers.





 

 

 

Maine’s Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs refuses to pass bills which will deplete the revenue coming into the State of Maine. This is a serious disservice to the Maine tax payer as this ensures there is no way to lower taxes.

A budget such as the budget proposed in this document is unable to be passed in the State of Maine since it cuts costs of running the Maine government by nearly 1 billion dollars. What would be a savings of 1,700 dollars per working Mainer (900 dollars savings from property tax for home owners) has no chance to pass the Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs.

Putting Maine government before Maine people is exactly the issue we face in government in 2016. Law makers should only be concerned with the best interests of Maine and Mainers, not their politically crony financial deals. Let us not forget that politicians who spend millions in lobbied interests receive millions in donations in return. This is how political laundering and crony corporatism exists. And frankly, Maine deserves better.

 

Now, what I can assure Mainers is, even if the Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs refuses to pass savings from less spending to the tax payer, property taxes would still decrease from implementing this budget since Maine towns are required to match State funding of Dept. of Education costs.

Reallocating the savings of $750,000,000 (750 million dollars) from the Dept. of Education into other programming, such as an increase in counseling across law enforcement, corrections, and rehabilitation, would still impact property taxes to the tune of $375,000,000 (375 million dollars) saving the 370,905 homeowners in Maine approximately $1011.04 in property taxes.

Tax payers who are not homeowners and feel jilted by the fact that there could be a major reduction in purchase and income taxes should address their concerns directly to the Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs: Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs; 5 State House Station; Augusta, ME 04333-0005.

 


 

Part 1: Maine Corrections

Rehabilitating a Corrections System

 

Purpose:

This plan reduces the incarceration costs of the Maine DOC by $133,966,481, increases the funding and social movement toward rehabilitation, and lowers recidivism rates for offenders.

As prisons fill and addicts litter the prison system, non-violent offenders overcrowd our prisons. There is a distinct battle separating an addict from jails as societally we push for removing things that offend our sensibilities. The result is a prison system that reaps billions in tax payer money while permanently housing and conditioning non-violent offenders to be violent and unable to overcome the stigmas that will follow them through their lives. Addicts and other non-violent offenders indefinitely carry a label of criminal, denying them opportunities for a prosperous future.

The last 20 years have demonstrated volumes of clear understanding as to what corrections and rehabilitation are capable of. Treatment programs aimed at curbing risk, needs, and responsivity have been shown to reduce recidivism (relapsing into criminal behavior). Further, sanctions (authoritative permission or approval, as for an action; something that serves to support an action, condition; something that gives binding force, as to an oath, rule of conduct; a provision of a law enacting a penalty for disobedience or a reward for obedience) without rehabilitation are proven ineffective.

           


 

Total amount of incarcerated felons for violent crimes per year: 634, and non-violent crimes: 1,675

  • Total conviction of crimes in 2012: 35,073
  • Total number of arrests in 2012: 51,150 (Children account for 5,489)
  • Violent crimes in 2012: 1,616  (to include robberies: 421, Homicides: 25, Rapes: 368, Aggravated assaults: 803)
  • Violent crime arrests in 2012: 768 (Children accounted for: 68)
  • Number of charges cleared 2012: 10,866

 

Drugs

·         Drug arrests in 2012: 5,527 (Marijuana accounted for: 2,734) (Children account for: 517)

 

Courts

·         There are two types of courts in Maine that oversee trials:

1.      Maine District Court –27 locations, 36 judges, 8 family law magistrates

2.      Maine Superior Court –16 locations, 17 justices 

·         43 courts for 51,150 arrests means each court deals with an average of 1,190 post arrest cases (3.26 per day)

 

Jails/Prisons

·         Maine houses approximately 2,309 people (men: 1,989 and women: 156, Children: 165)

·         Maine’s state prison inmates serve an average of 8.5 years (48 with life sentences) (165 juveniles)

·         Counties house approximately 1,848 in jails.

 “In August 2007, then Governor John Baldacci proposed a full state takeover of the county jail system and the closure of four small jails.  State corrections officials argued that counties were spending too much money on jails and that the state could do a better job realizing efficiencies across all jails. Sheriffs, commissioners and legislators came up with an alternative plan that meshed the county jails together into a network they called “One Maine, One System,” whereby three jails — Franklin, Oxford and Waldo — were reduced to 72‐hour holding facilities, and others, such as the Cumberland County Jail and the new Somerset County Jail, would become flagship jails (i.e. the go‐to locations). Administered by a new Board of Corrections, the network would manage jail crowding through cooperation and inmates would follow the available beds.  Also, property tax levies for the jails in each county would be capped at 2008 levels, and new jail spending would become the responsibility of the state.   On July 1, 2009, the new system was launched. Four years later, the average county jail population has increased 79% from an average daily population of 62 inmates per facility in 2009 to 111 inmates in 2012”

 

Maine State prison: 807 Cushing Road, Warren ME 04864 has a Population Capacity of 916;
Custody Levels: Close, Medium and Special Management; and employs 410 staff

·         Maine: the median Correctional Officer salary is $42,034

·         Maintenance of a 900 bed facility is approximately $180,000 per year

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2457&dat=19891010&id=s6lJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Tg4NAAAAIBAJ&pg=5512,2892808&hl=en

·         Total prisoner costs per prisoner at the Maine State Prison $40,757 

 http://www.maine.gov/legis/opega/GOC/GOC_meetings/Current_handouts/6-8-12/Final%20CPP%20Info%20Brief%206-8-12.pdf

 

 

Budgets

The approximate budget for corrections in Maine is 153 million dollars ( $66,262.45/inmate annually)

The jail budget is approximately 5.8 million dollars ($3,138.53/inmate annually)

 

Perpetual costs of incarceration-habitually violent/ habitual offenders

Maine offers probation to approximately 4,000 inmates per year with a recidivism rate (those who reoffend after probation) of 23.2% in 2012 (in other words: 928 of the 4,000 reoffend)

Using these numbers, we can estimate the incarceration needs of habitually violent offenders to be [recidivism % (23.2%) of yearly convictions (1,800) + average life sentences (48)]  = 467

467 is the approximate average population of violent and habitually offending persons we could drop to if we change the programming of incarceration of non-violent, non-habitual offenders.

$19,033,519 represents a potential total budget for the Maine State prison continuing the current level of services for 467 inmates.

 [Actual costs would reflect the $180,000 maintenance costs, a reduction in staff levels by almost 50%, and the current $40,757 per inmate price tag currently budgeted for this building]

Shifting the remaining 1,842 (current population: 2,309 – habitually violent offenders: 467) would re-appropriate $133,966,481 toward programming other than isolative and negatively conditioning incarceration.

Lifetime effects of incarceration for minor and non-violent offenses

 

Please consider the following by John Howard Society of Alberta (1999), Effects of Long-term Incarceration:

 

Deprivation

Because imprisonment necessitates a substantial curtailment of an individual's freedom and many other basic rights, deprivation is an inherent feature of being incarcerated. In a study of long term inmates in Missouri, Sabbath and Cowles (1992) found that the most serious problems for long term prisoners included travel distance for loved ones, privacy during visitation, privacy in cells and crowding. These problems are indicative of various forms of deprivation. An earlier study, carried out by Timothy Flanagan to examine the attitudes and perspectives of long term inmates, asked inmates serving sentences of 10 years or more to priorize what they saw as the most serious deprivations of imprisonment. The 5 problems they listed, from most to least serious, were missing somebody, missing social life, worrying about how they will cope when released, feeling that their lives are being wasted and feeling sexually frustrated (Flanagan, 1980). [Furthermore,] examination of the "pains of imprisonment," carried out earlier than the Flanagan study, was that of Graham Sykes. Four basic deprivations presented in his work concerned liberty, autonomy, personal security and heterosexual relations (Sykes, 1966).

 

Deprivation of Liberty:

Sensory stimulation is quite limited and inmates may, in some facilities, be allowed to read a book while in their cells or exercise for one half hour per day outside of the cell. Studies of the effects of solitary confinement generally show that short periods in isolation do not have detrimental repercussions on the mental health of inmates. Prolonged periods of isolation may have negative impact on inmates as indicated by studies conducted by Cormier and Williams (1966) and Grassian (1983)(cited in Bonta & Gendreau, 1990), but because adequate controls were not included in these studies, more studies need to be conducted before a definitive conclusion on the effects of solitary confinement can be made. Many mental health experts would argue that solitary confinement is, for the majority of offenders who spend long periods in solitary, a psychologically damaging punishment. Dr. Henry Weinstein, a psychiatrist who has studied American prisoners in solitary confinement, discovered that such extreme isolation results in a variety of psychological symptoms ranging from "memory loss to severe anxiety to hallucinations to delusions and, under the [most] severe cases of sensory deprivation, people go crazy" (CNN, 1998, p. 2). The almost complete loss of liberty that solitary confinement entails is dehumanizing and may hurt the inmate's potential for rehabilitation.

 

Deprivation of Autonomy:

Long term inmates often lose their sense of self efficacy once autonomy is taken away. Offenders are told where to live and when and what to eat, they are required to wear regulation clothing, perform certain jobs and follow numerous rules (Santos, 1995). Self-motivation and personal achievement are neither facilitated nor reinforced among inmates.

Rigid and sometimes incomprehensible rules have always been basic features of incarceration. Inflexibility and unresponsiveness to the concerns of prisoners often results from bureaucratic indifference, whereby events which seem important or vital to those at the bottom of the heap are viewed with an increasing lack of concern with each step upward. The rules, commands and decisions that are imposed on inmates are not accompanied by explanations, as many corrections officers feel that they do not need to justify their demands and actions; inmates are to do what they are told and not ask questions. Thwarting the inmate's ability to make choices and refusing to provide an explanation for prison rules and regulations involves a profound threat to the inmate's self-image by reducing the inmate to the weak, helpless, dependent status of childhood (Sykes, 1966). Loss of autonomy can also entail a serious threat to the inmate's self-image as a fully accredited member of adult society. Public humiliation, enforced respect and deference, the finality of authoritarian decisions, and the demands for certain conduct because it is in the individual's best interest are all features of childhood helplessness in the face of a superior adult world. This may be irksome and disturbing to a child, but for the adult who has escaped such helplessness with the passage of years, being thrust back into such helplessness could prove even more painful (Sykes, 1966). Treating inmates as if they were children is contrary to the best interest of society: when long term prisoners are released they may have lost the ability to make decisions for themselves and are less likely to be able to live productive lives in the community.

 

Deprivation of security:

When incarcerated, an offender is placed into prolonged proximity with other inmates who in many cases have a long history of violent, aggressive behavior. It is a situation which has proven to be anxiety provoking for even the hardest of recidivists. Regardless of the mutual aid and support which may flourish in the inmate population, there are a sufficient number of offenders within this group of offenders to deprive the average inmate of the sense of security which comes from living among people who can be reasonably expected to abide by the rules of society (Sykes, 1966). This loss of security arouses acute anxiety, not just because violent acts of aggression and exploitation can take place, but also because such behavior constantly calls into question the individual's ability to cope in prison and hinder their abilities to live normally in the outside world. The thoughts of a long term inmate beginning a 45 year sentence in an American prison illustrate these problems:

...[T]here will be violence. How can I escape it? I am young and I will be living in a maximum security prison. It will be inevitable that I be tried. And I will respond in a manner appropriate for prisons... The constant companionship of thieves, rapists, killers, aggressive homosexuals, and snitches who will say or do anything to save their own hide is far from relaxing. All of these factors exacerbate the tensions of beginning a long prison term. They will not prepare me for release (Santos, 1995, p. 38).

 

Deterioration

The deterioration model holds that long term incarceration causes the deterioration of an inmate's personality and mental, emotional and physical well-being. Clinical and psychiatric case studies have long suggested that imprisonment can be devastating, at least for some offenders. For example, some studies into functional "psycho-syndrome" have shown inmates with defects in cognitive functions, such as loss of memory and a general clouding of comprehension and ability to think; other defects included emotional problems (apathy and rigidity), problems in relating to others (infantile regression and increased introversion), and the appearance of psychotic characteristics (obsessions, loss of reality contact) (Zamble & Porporino, 1988).

However, other studies which applied even more stringent methodology provided no consistent findings of significantly quantifiable psychological deterioration. There have been numerous attempts to use traditional measures to assess the effects of imprisonment on personality, but no clear conclusions were reached from these studies. Studies using the self-esteem dimension of personality as a measure resulted in contradictory findings; some studies showed self-esteem increased after some period of incarceration, while other studies indicated no change in self-esteem (Zamble & Porporino, 1988).

Several studies, such as those carried out by a team of psychologists at Durham University in England, attempted to assess the effects of imprisonment using comprehensive batteries of psychological measures with groups of inmates who varied in the amount of time they had served. It was concluded that there was no over-all deterioration in perceptual-motor or cognitive functioning in connection with duration of imprisonment. Furthermore, there were no consistent changes in attitudes or personality resulting from length of imprisonment. Other similar studies in Germany and Canada showed that while a large proportion of inmates showed signs of depression and emotional withdrawal, very few differences were found based on length of incarceration. Furthermore, bitterness and expressions of demoralization by the prison environment, such as sleep disturbance and loss of appetite, were most evident among inmates who had served the least time (Zamble & Porporino, 1988).

 

Prisonization

The prisonization model, first developed in 1940, holds that the longer inmates are incarcerated, the more "criminalized" and distanced they become from the values and behaviors of society outside prison walls. A process involving changes within the individual inmate, prisonization results in the inmate increasingly acquiring the values, standards and behavior patterns of the other inmates; imprisonment causes prisonization, which in turn results in the inmate assuming criminal role identities (Zingraff, 1975). Two variations on the prisonization theory have emerged. Some sociologists have argued that it is pre-imprisonment attitudes and behavior patterns and the duration of involvement with criminal value systems prior to incarceration which are the crucial determinants of prisonization (Irwin, 1970, Irwin & Cressey, 1962, Thomas & Petersen, 1977, cited in Zamble & Porporino, 1988). Others have argued it is primarily factors within the corrections institution which determine the prisonization process. They suggested that the degree of prisonization could be affected by such factors as length of time incarcerated, interpersonal ties with other criminals, proportion of time served, social role adaptation of the inmate, post-release expectations of the inmate, degree of alienation from society, degree of alienation from the institution and self-concept of the inmate (Zingraff, 1975).

Considerable research has been carried out on both varieties of the prisonization theory. Generally, studies into the theoretical links between prisonization and the various pre- and post-imprisonment factors have found weak and inconsistent relationships (Bowker, 1977, Hawkins, 1976, Thomas, 1977, Zingraff, 1980, cited in Zamble & Porporino, 1988). Other findings have also cast doubts on the prisonization theory. Although prisonization has been consistently related, at least theoretically, with decreased likelihood of post-release success, several studies have indicated the opposite. Inmates who subscribed to the inmate code and adjusted poorly to the prison structure were found less likely to be recidivists than the less prisonized inmates (Kassebaum, Ward & Wilner, 1971, cited in Zamble & Porporino, 1988). Other studies showed that rebellious inmates were less handicapped during the initial stages of transition into the community (Goodstein, 1979, cited in Zamble & Porporino, 1988).

 

Incarceration and Work:

Former inmates experience relatively high levels of unemployment and below-average earnings in large part because of their comparatively poor work history and low levels of education. Incarceration further compounds these challenges. When age, education, school enrollment, region of residence and urban residence are statistically accounted for, past incarceration reduced subsequent wages by 11 percent, cut annual employment by nine weeks and reduced yearly earnings by 40 percent (The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2010).

The fact that former inmates make less per hour, work fewer weeks per year, and reap lower annual earnings than their counterparts has implications for their earnings trajectory. When the impact of incarceration on earnings is traced through the peak earning years, the aggregate losses are sizable. On average, incarceration eliminates more than half the earnings a white man would otherwise have made through age 48, and 41 and 44 percent of the earnings for Hispanic and black men, respectively. That amounts to an expected earnings loss of nearly $179,000 just through age 48 for people who have been incarcerated. Of note, these losses do not include earnings forfeited during incarceration; they reflect instead a sizable lifelong earnings gap between former inmates and those never incarcerated. Facing a competitive marketplace, carrying the stigma of incarceration, and juggling the responsibility of ongoing financial demands such as fees and restitution, many of the formerly incarcerated find the pursuit of legitimate economic solvency—let alone prosperity—difficult. These challenges impact not only former inmates themselves, but also their families and broader communities (The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2010).

 

 

Financial impacts of incarceration:

According to the US Census Bureau, the average salary in America is $35,000.   Since Americans may begin work at 15 years old and now must work until nearly 68 years old (and longer) the average American lifetime income working these 53 years is roughly $1,855,000.

Anyone incarcerated can expect to make 44% less than this lifetime total: $816,200 less than someone never incarcerated. Since this plan demonstrates incarcerating 1,842 less Mainers, we can predict an increase of $28,366,800 ($816,200 x 1,842 people / 53years) per year of recovered incomes.

 

Options other than incarceration

 

  • Positive Reentry Parole: Person A received a sentence of 20 years with opportunity for parole after 12 years incarceration. During that time Person A earned a GED, participated in recovery programs, and had an excellent work and behavior record. Where applicable, the person made amends to victims of the crime. At year 13 of the sentence Person A is released adhering to a plan that has been developed as he/she moves through the system. That person remains under the parole system until their sentence is finished.
    • The cost to monitor Prisoner A for the remainder of the 20 year sentence would be no more than $5000 versus $30,000+ per year to keep Person A incarcerated. So over a period of the remaining 7 years parole would cost $35,000

http://www.internationalcure.org/

 

·         The study: “INTENSIVE REHABILITATION SUPERVISION: THE NEXT GENERATION IN COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS?” evaluated cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) delivered within the context of intensive community supervision via electronic monitoring (EM). Via a scientific control group, researchers are able to eliminate and isolate variables. The aforementioned study statistically matched risks and needs of inmates both in an EM program and those facing only incarceration.

"Intensive supervision programs" (ISP's) that have demonstrated reductions in recidivism are those that went beyond simple control and also attempted to provide a significant treatment component (Jolin & Stipak, 1992; Paparozzi & Gendreau, 1993; Pearson, 1988). The most compelling data comes from: The Paparozzi's Bureau of Parole program which deliberately targeted only high risk parolees; across three indices, the recidivism rates for the ISP group were 21-29 percent lower than for a carefully matched sample of regular parolees. Secondly, critiques of the Pearson (1988) study have overlooked the fact that reductions in recidivism were 30 percent lower for those in ISP versus a comparison group in the case of the highest-risk probationers (Gendreau, & Cullen, 1994).

The results of this study were clear in that “treatment was effective in reducing recidivism for higher risk offenders, confirming the risk principle of offender treatment”. There shows a clear need for matching treatment intensity to offender risk and implementing treatment components in intensive supervision programs (such as prison) (Bonta, 2000).

The empirical evidence regarding ISP's is clear: reductions in recidivism are attained with a well implemented Intensive supervision program that targets risks and needs. The obstruction to this reprogramming is political as the for-profit model of corrections empowers legislators and profiteers. The solution lies within communities, non-profits, and local level initiatives.

 

 

 


 

En Conclusion: Financial and Social gains of rehabilitating the correctional system

 

With community driven programs, non-profit entities, and a field of combined counselor/officers, the prison system (and tax payers) can realize major savings in removing non-violent offenders from prison. The opportunities for offenders, high quality officers, and human-services educators are numerous. Society benefits not only from the immediate results upon offenders’ lives, but also in the impacts reconditioning deviant behaviors in the institutional cores of the population.

 

Through this plan we can look to invest in counseling (or return to the tax payer) approximately $133,966,481.

 

The decrease of 1,842 men and women from prison populations returns a life’s worth of opportunity to those effected and increases the societal output of these men and women by 28,366,800 taxable dollars.

 

In addition to the financial gains of Maine are the societal gains of removing stigmas related to incarceration for non-violent crimes and the employment of no less than 74 counselors and social workers (DHHS averages 25 cases per counselor/social worker).

 

 

 

 

Part 2:

An Effective Educational System

The factual Data:

·         The total expenditure of Maine taxes in 2013 was $5,300,000,000 (5.3 billion dollars)

http://www.nasbo.org/

https://ballotpedia.org/Maine_state_budget_and_finances

·         The total dollar amount spent on Public Education is $3,100,000,000

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_2004_2021MEb_17c1li211mcn_20c

·         185,767 is the number of students serviced by public education in 2013

http://maine.gov/doe/inside/snapshot.html

·         15,324 is the number of teachers serving Maine students in public schools

http://maine.gov/doe/inside/snapshot.html

·         These numbers indicate that the average class room composition in Maine is 1 teacher per 13 (12.122) students at a cost of $16,686.57 per student per year.

·         School lasts approximately 9 months, meaning kids are worth $1,854.17 per month to the DOE.

 

·         There are approximately 522,440 taxed residences in Maine

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/23000.html

·         Currently there are 185,767 public school students in Maine.

·         There are 15,324 teachers whose average salary is 44,731.

 

A private model:

A school of 100 kids and 19 well-paid employees:

 

The following model offers employment to 3,252 general education and 3,715 music and art teachers, while increasing the average teacher’s salary by $5,269.

This plan also ensures employment for 13,004 support staff (counselors, nurses, janitors, kitchen aids, secretaries, and administrators) at yearly salaries of 50,000 dollars

 

Let us look at a school plan that works for 100 kids, employs 10 teachers (that is a 10:1 Student:Teacher ratio), employs 1 school counselor, 1 janitor, 1 secretary, 1 administrator, 1 music teacher, 1 art teacher,2 kitchen staff, and 1 school nurse:

Under this model we can see that the Department of Education should be putting $1,668,657.00 toward the education of 100 students; the reality is that they do not come close to that.

If we paid every employee in the school a flat $50,000 per year (well above what they pay teachers, janitors, counselors, nurses, and secretaries right now), the cost for the 19 staff members would total $950,000.

The remaining $718,657 would go toward a building, running costs, and teaching materials.

Now.. you could buy a new school, new books, new computers, new seats, new instruments, new sports equipment, clothing, food,  transportation, and high levels of training every year with ¾ of a billion dollars…

 

So why is public education unable to offer this?

How is public Education unable to offer every staff member in the school $50,000 a year?

How is a system that receives over 1.5 million dollars for every 100 kids unable to educate our children with as high a quality as other States and nations who function with a percentage of our costs?

 

Where does the money go?

 

The reality is…everyone is leaching off this system to pay for their personal gains (unions, administrators, legislators, and crony suppliers of school “services”).

 

Options and the law:

 

Every child in America deserves a high-quality education, regardless of family income, ability or background. If children are not learning and schools do not improve, parents should have options, including sending children to better public schools, charter schools or private or parochial schools. On June 27, 2002, the United States Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s school choice program giving families nationwide more options in providing their children with a high caliber education.

(TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2002 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION, COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, Washington, DC)

 

 

The Cost of Private Education in the United States

 

The average private school costs approximately $4,750 per year; public school costs upwards of $16,000.

“Students from private schools on average outperformed students from public schools in mathematics and reading achievement”

(U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011 Mathematics and Reading Assessments.)

            According to an article by David Salisbury in USA Today, the average tuition of private elementary schools in 2000 was $3,500 per year or less. For private secondary schools in the same year, the average tuition was $6,052. These statistics are included and elaborated upon in another article by Salisbury, which appears in Policy Analysis. In fact, according to Table 2 of Salisbury's more detailed article, the majority of private schools have tuitions below $5,000. For the academic year of 1999-2000, 41% of private schools charged less than $2,500 in tuition, 38% of schools charged between $2,500 and $4,999 in tuition, and only 21% of schools charged $5,000 or more in tuition (Salisbury, 2003). In the article that he wrote for Policy Analysis, Salisbury (2003) points out that the average public school spending for each pupil is $8,830 a year.

In his article, Salisbury outlines two major options that would allow families to use state funds in order to finance a private school education: tax credits and school vouchers. Under the tax credit system, families would pay for a child's tuition using their own funds, and then they would receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on their state income taxes. Salisbury argues that a tax credit system would also have to include scholarship tax credits, which would allow all other tax payers who make contributions to scholarship-granting organizations within the state to receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on their state income taxes.

            Under a voucher system, families are given a portion of school tuition in the form of a voucher from the state. The parents or guardian of a child can then use that voucher in order to send their child to a public school or a private school. If the cost of the private school were to exceed the value of the voucher, then the family would be responsible for paying the difference. Three factors of voucher programs arise in determining whether or not families are eligible for the voucher, defining which schools are eligible, and disseminating available funds (Metcalf & Legan, 2002). These issues vary from program to program, and must be decided upon by those who oversee the disbursement of voucher funds.

Based on these options, Salisbury (2003) argues that "an ideal school choice program would give every child a voucher or tax credit to be spent on educational services at any public or private school" (1). Salisbury believes that a voucher of $5,000 would be enough to allow most children to attend the majority of private schools. While many people oppose vouchers based on the belief that vouchers would only serve to create greater distinctions between under-privileged and more-privileged children, research has shown that "vouchers provide educational opportunities to low-income families that would otherwise be unavailable to them" (Metcalf & Legan, 2002). Further, vouchers have a positive effect on parental involvement in and satisfaction with schools; they also may create useful changes in public schools in the areas of operation and performance (Metcalf & Legan, 2002).

The statistics clearly favor voucher programs as they enable greater choices and opportunities for all students, more employment opportunities for more teachers and support staff, as well as provide better education at lower costs. (University of Michigan, 2014)

En conclusion: School-option costs and benefits

 

We suffer because of the government monopoly on education. The costs for public schools are higher, learning results are lower in public schools, and staff which work with kids are paid less in public schools…

 

We deserve better, our teachers deserve more, all staff members deserve more, the kids deserve more, and we should do what we can to work toward a great educational system for Maine not against it.

 

This plan adds 3,252 general education teachers, adds 3,715 music and art teachers, and increases the average teacher’s salary by 5,269 dollars.

This plan also ensures employment for 13,004 support staff (counselors, nurses, janitors, kitchen aids, secretaries, and administrators) with pay far above the average pay for most of these professions.

 

Furthermore, this proposed plan allows $718,657 to be freed from non-teaching positions (many of which are not workers in schools or even in Maine) to be applied toward buildings, running costs, teaching materials, and/or reappropriation.


 

Additional References

2012 Crime in Maine, Maine Department of Public Safety, 2013.

2012 State Expenditure Report, National Association of State Budget Officers. 2012.  

2007 American Community Survey, Census Bureau.  http://factfinder.census.gov/

Blumenthal, H. (1999). Life line: Lifers helping lifers swim not sink. Let's Talk, 24(2), 5-7.

BONTA, J. (2000) A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of an Intensive Rehabilitation Supervision Program. Criminal Justice and Behavior June 2000 vol. 27 no. 3 312-329

Bonta, J., & Gendreau, P. (1990). Reexamining the cruel and unusual punishment of prison life. In Flanagan, T. (Ed.), Long-term imprisonment: Policy, science and correctional practice (pp. 75-94). London: Sage Publications.

Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement Databook http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/cjrp/

Citizen’s Guide to the Court. http://www.courts.state.me.us/citizen_info/citizen_guide/index.html

Correctional Service of Canada. (1998). Performance report for the period ending March 31, 1998. Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada.

Crime in the United States (2012) Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice, November,

Donaldson, S. (1990). Prisons, jails, and reformatories [On-line]. Available:http://www.ai.mit.edu/people/ellens/SPR/docs/prison-sex.html

Flanagan, T. J. (1980). The pains of long-term imprisonment. British Journal of Criminology, 20, 148-156.

Fong, R. S., & Buentello, S. (1990). The detection of prison gang development: An empirical assessment. Paper presented to the annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, March 1990, in Denver, Colorado.

Genders, E., & Player, E. (1990). Women lifers. In Flanagan, T. (Ed.), Long-term imprisonment: Policy, science and correctional practice (pp. 117-127). London: Sage Publications.

Gendreau, P., & Cullen, F. T. (1994). Intensive rehabilitation supervision: The next generation in community corrections?. Federal Probation58(1), 72.

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