Inmates in New York State prisons could get a college degree courtesy of the state.

That's the idea behind a proposal from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Democrat says inmates who earn college degrees are less likely to return to a life of crime once released from prison.

According to the Governor's office, the state currently spends $60,000 annually per prisoner and it would cost $5,000 a year to educate an inmate.

New York is expected to put out a request for proposals from colleges in March.

The state is currently partnered with Cornell University, Bard and others to offer privately funded degree programs at close to two dozen prisons.