Chart: One Year of Prison Costs More Than One Year at Princeton - The Atlantic
One year at Princeton University: $37,000. One year at a New Jersey state prison: $44,000.
Prison and college "are the two most divergent paths one can take in life," Whereas one is a positive experience that increases lifetime earning potential, the other is a near dead end, which is why Staten found it striking that the lion's share of government funding goes toward incarceration.
The comparison between higher education spending and correction spending highlighted in the following chart is not perfect. Universities have means to fund themselves; prisons rely on the government. So it makes some sense that a disproportional amount of money flows to the correction centers. Also, take note, comparing African Americans in college and African Americans in dorms is not completely fair. For one, college implies an 18-22 age range, and incarcerated adults can be of any age. Also, it doesn't take into account African Americans who commute to school.