Education for Sexual Predators at Taxpayer's Expense

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Sexual predators across the nation are taking higher education classes at taxpayer expense even while they are locked up in treatment centers.

Critics say they are exploiting a loophole to receive Pell Grants, the nation's premier financial aid program for low-income students.

Prison inmates are ineligible for grants under a 1994 law and so are students convicted of certain drug offenses.

But sexual predators qualify once they are transferred from prison to state-run treatment centers.

Congressman Ric Keller of Florida says it's the most insane waste of taxpayer money he's ever seen. He is sponsoring a plan to stop the practice.

But others say taking away offenders' financial aid would be a mistake. They say education could help sex offenders build stable lives if they are ever released.

Wisconsin and about 19 other states allow authorities to hold the most dangerous sex offenders for treatment after their prison sentences end.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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