There’s a direct relationship between how much money the Golden State spends on prisons and how much it spends on higher education, according to a report put out by the non-partisan public policy group California Common Sense. When one goes up, the other goes down. And, at least in California, the former has been going up a lot more than the latter, the Huffington Post reports. The study, entitled Winners and Losers: Corrections and Higher Education in California, looked at the state’s general fund expenditures on corrections and higher education from the period between 1981 and 2011. Since 1980, higher education spending has decreased by 13 percent in inflation adjusted dollars, whereas spending on California’s prisons and associated correctional programs has skyrocketed by 436 percent. The state now shells out more money from its general fund for the prison system than the higher education system. (When combined with K-12 education, the state’s overall education spending dwarfs its prison expenditures.) Fifty-five percent of the growth of corrections spending is the result of the state simply putting more people in jail. Over the past three decades, the number of inmates in California facilities has increased eight times faster than size of the overall population…

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