Angela Davis was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez before AOC's mother was ever born. That is quite a tour of duty, but she showed no signs of waning at the University of Rochester Tuesday night. She was greeted with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Plainly something she is used to. She warned we are spending more on prisons than on education. "State and local spending on prisons and jails has increased at triple the rate of funding for public education" (U.S. Department of Education).

Yet research consistently shows money spent on programs such as Head Start "yielding more than $8 for every $1 invested" (National Conference of State Legislatures).

Programs like the Cornell Prison Education Program have dramatically shown themselves to be the cure to America's highest rate of recidivism in the world.

It doesn't take a genius behaviorist to understand the carrot and stick theory of rehabilitation. Our Justice system has mastered the stick, but not so much the carrot. As we reduce mass incarceration, "Good Time" should be a key determinant of a person's return to society. Common sense should have us give greater emphasis to a person's institutional record. I know men in prison that I would consider myself blessed to have as neighbors. No offense to church ladies, but at the pearly gates they'd find themselves in line behind some of my friends in prison. Let's end the national embarrassment of imprisoning more of ourselves than any other country on the planet.

Tom Bulger

Canandaigua