Life Hack! How This College Student is Saving Money on Housing by Serving Jail Time instead!
By: Kaleena Slate
Crime in America is on the rise, but not for the usual reasons. A recent survey of Americas prisons found that more than 32% of inmates are college students still in good standing with their schools. What's the reason for all these dangerous minds behind bars?
"Living on campus or off campus - that's expensive!" says inmate and U Chicago Doctorate Program student Janelle Murphy. "The cost of living in here - free! Meals? Free! Quality? Basically the same as any college campus I've visited. Also, there's unlimited study time and I have to curb my spending habits. Commissary items are really really expensive, so I'm also learning how to manage my money so I can splurge on things like ramen here and there."
Janelle said she didn't initially enter jail thinking this would be a viable housing cost option, but as the judge read her sentence and she started doing the math, she realized how much money she was going to save and purposefully threw her last probation hearing to finish out the third semester of her Senior year.
"Aside from the money, I get to work out every day. I've become a decent fighter, I have a part-time job, and one of the other inmates and I have started seeing each other. We haven't labeled it but like, it's a thing. Who knows, maybe I'll have found my wife in here too!"
Inspired by Janelle's story, and with news of Illinois passing legislation to expunge 800,000 individuals with marijuana charges, prison officials all over the state are in talks with IL Universities, both public and private, as well as area high-schools to offer the alternative housing option to students looking to enroll as freshman or to those currently enrolled in classes but are in a state of financial ruin.