Attorney General Eric Schneiderman became one of the more prominent officials on Wednesday to support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to provide access to college-level courses to state prison inmates.

Schneiderman backed the program in a speech unveiling his legislation that would make it easier for those wrongfully convicted to reclaim damages from the state.

In his remarks, Schneiderman criticized opponents of the proposal, which is aimed at reducing recidivism.

“Which is, again, about progressive, evidence based, criminal justice reform. And I say evidence-based because we see this today in the, sort of, push back about the notion of making higher education available to prisoners—which is a no brainer,” Schneiderman said. “There is not one piece of data that does not suggest this is a great thing. Again, it’s an approach that—I feel like we’re back in the same fight that they were in hundreds of years ago, when Beccaria wrote on crime and punishment. The whole idea of the book was, we shouldn’t be basing our system on superstition, we should be basing it on evidence. That was many hundreds of years ago. And sometimes I feel like the same willful ignorance is impeding our progress.”

Republican lawmakers as well as potential GOP candidate for governor Rob Astorino in particular have knocked Cuomo for suggesting the program as unfair to those who are struggling to afford a college education.