A recent commentary in The Advocate-Messenger criticized those who complain about public funding for prisons rather than education and other services. Without consideration for the factors associated with crime, the commentator implied that the only means for reducing crime is incarceration.
However, let us consider the facts:
* 30 to 50 percent of the incarcerated have diagnosable learning disabilities. Some studies show that up to 75 percent of young offenders have a cognitive deficit (mental retardation, learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.)
* Most incarcerated have no job skills and only a small percentage receive marketable job skills while in Kentucky prisons. Without job skills, these people are at high risk for recidivism.