Last night on our way to sleep, we were watching some documentary about women in prison. These women in this particular prison get to take vocational courses so that when they get out of prison, they will have some job skills. The ones mentioned were making dentures and cosmetology.
Recently, I too gave some thought about going back to school to learn a marketable trade. Cosmetology, in particular. I have been in the beauty profession before (years ago) as a nail technician and I loved it, so I was thinking about going back for some fresh training and testing for my license again. The problem I ran into is this – that training if fairly expensive. To take courses to get just my nail tech license was an average of about $6,000 and to take the full cosmetology course was closer to $15,000.
On top of the tuition charges, I would have to figure out how to continue to support my family, take care of my home and children and provide sufficient child care for them, should my classes run later than their school day. My family makes too much money to qualify for a grant and so my options are to save up the $6,000 or to apply for and eventually pay back student loans. I don’t have a problem with either one of those options.
What I do have a problem with is that a woman who committed a crime (of varying sorts, but bad enough to land her in prison) can get this same education for FUCKING FREE… no, I’m sorry, it’s not really free, is it? No, I pay for it with my tax dollars. My husband pays for it with his. So now, not only do I have to pay for my own education WHILE trying to pay my bills and balance my family’s needs with my own and CONTINUE to be a law abiding citizen, but I get to pay for hers too.
Yeah, that pisses me off a little.
I’m not saying that the program isn’t a good idea. What I’m saying is that law abiding citizens who work hard to take care of themselves and their families, should get the free education, not the criminals. And, if the criminals are going to get a free education, then we should as well.
And taking that thought one step further, what if we, as a nation, had better educated that woman in the first place (or made more easily available, an education)? Maybe she wouldn’t have ended up in prison.