September 24, 2014
Causes of Growth of Prison Population The United States has the leading number of its citizens living in prison as of today. According to Rick Mathews, in the article Falling Education Rates Leading to Higher Prison Populations, one of every 150 Americans is cut off from society as an inmate, which amounts to about 2 million people at an approximate annual cost of $55 billion. So many children growing up in the United States have no care for education or are not brought up being taught that education is one of the most important areas to excel in life. These children are more susceptible to making bad decisions and eventually partake in illegal activity. I strongly believe that the lack of education rates correlate with the rise of population in prisons and poverty, in return, causing segregation. Sadly, children who are not given a decent and appropriate education are not really given a view on the right path to take in life. There are so many towns that are so poverty stricken that they do not have money to afford proper supplies for schools. This causes the students residing in these towns to have an extremely difficult time gaining a legitimate education and furthering their education. This may, unfortunately lead teens to get involved with crime and illegal activity. They are brought up thinking that obviously education is not that important, so what is the point in following through with it. Rick Matthews reminds us that 46.2 million citizens live below the poverty line which means that their annual income is at most $22,314 for a family of four. Not having the money to go to college and further your education is a huge problem in the US. Each student should have the right to advance onto higher education and receive that knowledge that develops and most often leads to a purpose filled life Some very interesting facts provided by “DoSomething.org” suggests that more than 30 million children are growing up in poverty. In one low-income community, there was only one book for every 300 children. Children living in poverty have a higher number of absenteeism or leave school all together because they are more likely to have to work or care for family members. Dropout rates of 16 to 24-years-old students who come from low income families are seven times more likely to drop out than those from families with higher incomes. Children that live below the poverty line are 1.3 times more likely to have developmental delays or learning disabilities than those who don’t live in poverty. The nation’s lowest-performing high schools produce 58% of all African-American dropouts and 50% of all Hispanic dropouts, compared to 22% of all white dropouts. These all go to show that living in poverty causes inferior education. It also shows the difference and the segregation in races. Each causes the next and it is like an ongoing, never-ending cycle.
Education and criminal record ties in together also. Sixty eight percent of State prison inmates did not receive a high school diploma while only about 26% of State prison inmates said they had completed the GED while serving time in a correctional facility according to “Education And Correctional Populations” by Caroline Wolf Harlow. It confirms the idea that people with poor education are dragged into crime or illegal activity. Not all people who do not get a high school education are going to become a criminal, but a very high percentage will. The fact that some people in prison strive to obtain their GED is really amazing. It goes against the stereotype of the people who are placed under arrest and put into correctional facilities.
Outrageously, the spending that goes in correctional programs and the prison system is 2.5 times greater than the price that goes into the educational system in 2002. Sidra Lee Gifford who wrote the Justice Expenditure and Employment in the United States explains how the increase