Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to help people in prison earn a college degree while serving their time.
Cuomo argues inmates who earn a degree while in prison are less likely to return after leaving.
He says providing the opportunity to get a college degree is cheaper for taxpayers and better for society, costing an extra $5,000 five per year.
Right now, he says 40 percent of prisoners who leave end up returning.
"The government will spend $60,000 a year on a prison cell to keep a person imprisoned, more money than it takes to send the person to Harvard University for a year,” said Cuomo.
The initiative will put the college programs in 10 state prisons where inmates can earn an associate or bachelor’s degree, which generally takes two-and-a-half to three years.