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WBEN NewsRadio 930>Audio & Video on Demand>>Prof. Bruce Bryski- College for Convicts

Prof. Bruce Bryski- College for Convicts

Feb 20, 2014|

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

We're looking governor Cuomo's plan to give tuition college education to prisoners. Let's bring in some political analysis now doctor Bruce Bruce is here from SUNY buffalo state -- morning or take a look at this where where you see this playing out. Well I. I'm a little bit confused I just don't. Can look at it and number levels I don't understand politically personable. I certainly don't understand it economically and is a practical logistical matter. I don't think it's gonna work I mean who's gonna teach. These courses and we've got 64 SUNY campuses. I suspect that with the governor's got in mind is that he's gonna ask Sunni faculty. To teach in prisons and I'm not so sure we've got the resources to do that right now in factors are hiring freeze and in at least at buffalo state. And in many campuses across Sunni. So I don't know how well this has been thought out I don't know where we are in terms of the process. So -- politically. Economically in Houston a practical level on I'm not so sure this is gonna work. Bruce -- is in studio this morning from SUNY buffalo state we're talking about it and Bruce you said when you began you don't understand it politically economically or even from a practical standpoint. Let's just look at it politically. Is this a red -- each. Issue for Republicans. Or certainly is -- I've already started to see. Some things on -- there is is going to be great for the Republicans is just another way to to go after the governor. I and I and I don't understand. You know that the governor could probably I can think of a dozen initiatives. That would not be nearly as controversy all business. And the fact of the matter is you know how is he attempting to McCurry any political favors here I I don't understand what the with the purposes now. What I think he's gonna end up doing is upsetting a lot of middle class families who -- sending their sons and daughters to. Colleges. You know if it and I see this every day I mean it's my students have a hard time just. Getting the money to buy textbooks. And we've seen -- gonna give them. Inmates prisoners. 5000 dollars. Is you know towards their college education I think that this is a deathly something the Republicans are gonna jump ball. Let me put forth an argument though from the governor's perspective. We look at guns appealed to the base. We've got people appear upset we look at gay marriage appealed may be a liberal base got some people upset. Isn't this the same in that pattern. Can't keep benefit from this with his base. -- it may be David I think beyond. The only thing I can think -- thought about this last night knowing I was coming on. With minorities with blacks and Hispanics. Probably that this is basically and there's no way. That you're gonna get a majority of of blacks and minorities are voting for Republicans so again a little bit just a little bit confusing practically. Time magazine this week had quite a large story about how President Obama wants trying to make criminal justice and those same kind of issues you raised the treatment of minorities. A major issue. In the next coming months or so. Could this be looked at on a national stage. Absolutely is that we're starting to see this already winds letting us felons vote. Rand Paul all people he has come out in favor of this indicating a look at what you page your time and you'd done your time that you know you're here. A citizen and you should have the right to vote but did so is -- so it's comparable I put these these issues in the same basket. But if if if you say it doesn't make a lot of sense for the governor politically I wonder if it's another one of those things that -- Gallup he's doing and on the national stage. All -- know was this the it doesn't really matter if that the parents of college students are Democrats or Republicans. There's gonna be resentment here. And and quite frankly. That there is there's already. These students are -- that they have to work one job two jobs just to adjust to pay for there to question in the room and board. So again I I can think of a dozen issues that the the governor could tackle rather than this one initiative wise. Let's look at Republican mark -- Sonny who has come out so strongly be most vocal person on this in Western New York. Is he trying to safe face possibly with this for conservatives after his safe vote act I say effect vote and they -- gay marriage vote. Probably I mean everything's politically motivated Susan as we know and and so I suspect that he's trying to. To show that he's looking it. Different issues independent of each other. And you know we've if you if you think about it. It would be something and he's he's spending a lot of time he's getting a lot of publicity. Il -- this and so was. You know may be a little bit more middle of the road little bit more to the right and we Saudi would be in May be that's going to be good for his reelection campaign. Are we trying to over think and putting in the context of politics could this just be the opening gambit in the back and forth that is budget negotiations. I think so and in an -- with Ken -- said earlier you know though what about funding. You know to me that's that's worth you know the tire hits the road. I mean this is -- it's an idea it's an initiative. But nobody's really yet talked about this with so when he was college professors that I know I'm not aware of it my union for example but. Yes -- it's it's definite political. Professor Bruce Bruschi is here from SUNY buffalo state we're talking about governor Cuomo's plan for college courses in prison for convicts. Earlier Bruce you said it didn't make sense politically or economically let's delve into that last part. Hone in on the economics right now. Well sure well first of all. It's going to be taxpayer funded. And you know I mean he really did you know you can't separate that the politics from the economic issues but if you think about it. You know who's going to actually. Teach these courses. There is a shortage now all of college professors. When there's a hiring freeze its Sunni. We're just not hiring any new faculty. You can't walk into Wal-Mart and pick the first five people UC UC would you like to teach college also people who are currently yet Sunni. They're they're not gonna volunteer or in in great numbers to to teach in a prisoner going to be concerned about their safety and just the the morals and the ethics involved in that and and I go back to the the fact that there are so many deserving. Residents legal residents of New York State who were trying to get an education who wore were working one and two jobs to get that education. And we're gonna viewed as a freebie to people who are incarcerated. And I just don't know who will logistically. Who's gonna do this it it if I teach three classes every semester. And you want me to teach one in a prison or who's gonna teach that we're gonna take these other 25 students and teach them he is so is the logistics don't make any sense here. And you know governor in his -- proposal when he first brought this up over the weekend said ten colleges so just ten say you must be Sunni. Or you know how to you know have you heard any about these ten. Aren't you know what I I haven't heard a lot about that but I mean just just in from -- -- from a practical perspective. I I just don't see how these numbers are gonna add up in any way Susan -- just you know in many ways it just doesn't make any sense Bruce I know you're fairly active with -- UP the united university professions. Has the faculty union come out in any way against this thing. What's the ironic thing what I'm hearing about this for the first time. And union teaching -- teaching in interest is not new I mean I was asked to do this in 1983. When I first started teaching is an -- in the -- the so it's not a new thing. But but for for taxpayers to have to to pick up the tab here and any him as well as the no -- does this all the time he throws these initiatives out. Any any price he was gonna stick there's been no consultation whatsoever. With faculty with Sony that I'm aware of our -- heard about it through. You said you're asked to do this in 83 and I. Did you and would you. No I didn't in his interest staying. It turned out that. I was hesitant to do in the first place Andy the phone that they need to meet you teach at the actual college -- -- -- And selected -- for twelve years. And I never really had an opportunity to teach now from everything that I know to be fair. It a model prisoner is actually a model student and and so they do they are good students there's no question about that. But I I have to see some more of the studies that indicate that. They're gonna be less violent when they -- now. These are going to be able what kind of return world -- for the money that we're giving them so there's there's a lot of questions that are still while there. All right very good Bruce thanks for sharing some questions and answers with us this morning nice to be here guys thank you that's professor Bruce -- from a communications department at SUNY buffalo state.

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