Siena Poll Finds Wide Support Downstate For Prison College Degree Program, Upstate Voters Opposed
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's controversial plan to offer college degree programs in select New York prisons is backed by a majority of voters, according to a new Siena Research Institute poll released Monday.
The survey found 53 percent of voters support the proposal, which aims to offer college courses in 10 state prisons. Forty-three percent of those surveyed said they oppose using state funding to provide college degree programs for inmates.
Siena pollster Steve Greenberg noted the demographic and partisan divide on Cuomo's plan. While 68 percent of Demcorats support the proposal, the same percentage of Republicans opposes it. Independents and other voters are split, with 48 percent supporting the idea and 47 percent opposing the proposal.
Voters in New York City support Cuomo's proposal in large numbers. Nearly three-quarters of city voters — 72 percent — said they back the governor's plan to offer college courses in prisons. Support dips in the suburbs, but a majority — 54 percent — said they are in favor of Cuomo's initiative.
However, upstate voters aren't fond of the plan. Two-thirds of voters — 66 percent — said they are opposed to offering college degree programs for inmates.