A year and a half ago, then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger complained that California was spending nearly 11 percent of its budget on prisons and only 7.5 percent on the university system. He noted, “Thirty years ago, 10 percent of the general fund went to higher education and 3 percent went to prisons.” The spike in penitentiary spending is artificial, and does not reflect crime trends. Since the early 1990s, crime in the state has fallen, whereas the prison population has skyrocketed.
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