Thomas Sowell points out the relevant measure of the cost of crime.
Nor is it surprising that the left uses an old and irrelevant comparison -- between the cost of keeping a criminal behind bars versus the cost of higher education. According to the Times, "Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, and Oregon devote as much or more to corrections as they do to higher education."
The relevant comparison would be between the cost of keeping a criminal behind bars and the cost of letting him loose in society. But neither the New York Times nor others on the left show any interest in that comparison.