NAACP joins with Gingrich in urging prison reform

The NAACP is joining Newt Gingrich in calling for reducing the number of state and federal prisoners and spending the savings on education.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People released a report today that said between 1987 and 2007, state prison spending grew at six times the rate of higher education spending. It recommends examining policies in states that have reduced their prison populations.

Gingrich, a possible Republican presidential candidate, endorsed the NAACP’s findings, noting that $68 billion was spent on incarceration last year in the United States. He says “it is time to fundamentally rethink how we treat and rehabilitate our prisoners.”

NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous says the combination of prison spending and shrinking education budgets sends a message “that we value incarceration over education.”

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