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Criminal Population: How has inequality contributed to causing it?
As America continues to grow in it's vast numbers, resources have become scarce and jobs have become harder and harder to come by. Businesses everywhere are making cuts in employee numbers and wages earned, thus encouraging people to take drastic measures to get what they want in life. The straight fact of the matter is that inequality increases crime. "The moral mandate to achieve success exerts pressure to succeed by fair means if possible and by foul means if necessary" -Robert Merton.

Two key social constructs have been identified relating to the theoretical perspective of crime: economic resources and racial/ethnic composition (Hipp). From an economic stand point, low economic status is viewed as a main cause of crime (Western). The composition of residents in poverty clustered into particular areas of a city may lead to higher levels of crime. They may experience a sense of isolation from the society as a whole whereas different cultural values become in effect. Dominant minority neighborhoods result in more unemployment, more broken households and may experience a decreased social control which correlates to more crime (Hipp).

Location and population of a city increases the level of economic segregation which in turn leads to higher levels of crimes and specific types of crime (aggravated assaults, robberies, burglaries, and motor vehicle thefts) (Hipp). In contrast, cities with a lower level of inequality have more mixed neighborhoods with varying levels of income that also leads to higher levels of crime (Hipp). Strong evidence of crime has been linked to neighborhoods where individuals are poor and a minority, the rates of crime are high regardless of their social class (Western).

Models predicting crime see a strong correlation between cities with a higher African American population and higher robbery rates (Hipp). The same is true for burglary rates and aggravated assault, where African Americans present the largest demographic (Hipp). There is however, no evidence that relates motor vehicle thefts to African Americans (Hipp). Cities with a higher Latino percentage are associated with the higher motor vehicle theft rate (Hipp).

Threatening populations have been defined in terms of their employment status, race or ethnicity, or some combination of the two (Western). Nearly 75% of the arrests in 2010 were males and they accounted for 80% of arrests for violent crime. In addition, almost 70% of all people arrested were white, 28% were black, and the remaining roughly 3% were other races (FBI).

The following information on this page is a breakdown of how once a person enters the the world of criminal life, they not only experienced inequalities that most likely caused the crime, they now suffer inequalities with education, trying to find a job, and trying to find a place to live. In the end we provide ideas and solutions as to how these processes can be made better.



Distribution of types of crimes to different racial/ethnic groups according to the FBI in 2010


Arrests by Race, 2010
[12,221 agencies; 2010 estimated population 240,100,189]
Offense charged
Total arrests
Percent distribution1
Total
White
Black
American
Indian or
Alaskan
Native
Asian or
Pacific
Islander
Total
White
Black
American
Indian or
Alaskan
Native
Asian or
Pacific
Islander
TOTAL
10,177,907
7,066,154
2,846,862
145,612
119,279
100.0
69.4
28.0
1.4
1.2
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter
8,641
4,261
4,209
91
80
100.0
49.3
48.7
1.1
0.9
Forcible rape
15,503
10,178
4,925
214
186
100.0
65.7
31.8
1.4
1.2
Robbery
87,587
37,906
48,154
617
910
100.0
43.3
55.0
0.7
1.0
Aggravated assault
317,435
202,275
106,382
4,854
3,924
100.0
63.7
33.5
1.5
1.2
Burglary
225,775
152,210
69,541
1,961
2,063
100.0
67.4
30.8
0.9
0.9
Larceny-theft
998,476
687,609
282,246
14,323
14,298
100.0
68.9
28.3
1.4
1.4
Motor vehicle theft
55,278
35,009
18,797
696
776
100.0
63.3
34.0
1.3
1.4
Arson
8,766
6,592
1,978
100
96
100.0
75.2
22.6
1.1
1.1
Violent crime2
429,166
254,620
163,670
5,776
5,100
100.0
59.3
38.1
1.3
1.2
Property crime2
1,288,295
881,420
372,562
17,080
17,233
100.0
68.4
28.9
1.3
1.3
Other assaults
1,004,273
659,171
318,117
14,848
12,137
100.0
65.6
31.7
1.5
1.2
Forgery and counterfeiting
60,538
40,167
19,350
342
679
100.0
66.4
32.0
0.6
1.1
Fraud
144,214
95,126
46,493
1,253
1,342
100.0
66.0
32.2
0.9
0.9
Embezzlement
12,930
8,568
4,037
88
237
100.0
66.3
31.2
0.7
1.8
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing
74,122
48,303
24,494
598
727
100.0
65.2
33.0
0.8
1.0
Vandalism
197,015
145,284
46,306
3,279
2,146
100.0
73.7
23.5
1.7
1.1
Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc.
123,278
71,772
49,443
874
1,189
100.0
58.2
40.1
0.7
1.0
Prostitution and commercialized vice
48,154
26,156
20,405
342
1,251
100.0
54.3
42.4
0.7
2.6
Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution)
56,125
41,406
13,182
744
793
100.0
73.8
23.5
1.3
1.4
Drug abuse violations
1,270,443
846,736
404,609
8,766
10,332
100.0
66.6
31.8
0.7
0.8
Gambling
7,512
2,160
5,071
32
249
100.0
28.8
67.5
0.4
3.3
Offenses against the family and children
84,812
56,233
26,470
1,533
576
100.0
66.3
31.2
1.8
0.7
Driving under the influence
1,082,301
927,516
124,467
13,980
16,338
100.0
85.7
11.5
1.3
1.5
Liquor laws
396,942
329,895
47,529
14,129
5,389
100.0
83.1
12.0
3.6
1.4
Drunkenness
440,688
362,396
66,837
8,583
2,872
100.0
82.2
15.2
1.9
0.7
Disorderly conduct
480,080
305,154
162,521
8,415
3,990
100.0
63.6
33.9
1.8
0.8
Vagrancy
24,759
14,092
9,935
567
165
100.0
56.9
40.1
2.3
0.7
All other offenses (except traffic)
2,877,687
1,905,436
893,018
43,634
35,599
100.0
66.2
31.0
1.5
1.2
Suspicion
903
582
310
5
6
100.0
64.5
34.3
0.6
0.7
Curfew and loitering law violations
73,670
43,961
28,036
744
929
100.0
59.7
38.1
1.0
1.3
  • 1 Because of rounding, the percentages may not add to 100.0.
  • 2 Violent crimes are offenses of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes are offenses of burglary, larceny-theft,
  • motor vehicle theft, and arson




Report on Black Male Prison Population




According to Richard Freeman in 1996, young black men in the 1980s and 1990s turned to crime in response to declining job opportunities. To take a deeper look at the highlighted race of African Americans, the attached video includes powerful statistics on their incarceration rate. According to Massey & Denton, the "urban underclass" primarily made up of African Americans experiences a high level of economic segregation. Over the last three decades black men were about 7 to 8 times more likely to be in prison or jail than white men, thus making prison or jail more common than employment for this low-skill group (Western). Young black men, unlike their white counterparts, are more commonly involved in crime after leaving schools as their particular communities offer fewer local employment opportunities and fewer social connections to entry-level jobs (Western).




Educational Success as it relates to Adult Criminal Population



Would it surprise you to know that 41% of the adult inmates residing in State and Federal prisons have not completed high school or received their GED? Further that “the incarceration rate of adults with some college education is about one-quarter that for high school graduates” (Harlow). The graphs and charts below show findings from the Bureau of Justice as to exactly how this adult criminal population presents itself educationally:

Education Level
State Prison Inmates
Federal Prison Inmates
Probationers
General Population
Some High School
39.7
26.5
30.6
18.49
GED
28.5
22.7
11
5
High School Diploma
20.5
27
34.8
28.2
Postsecondary
11.4
23.9
23.6
48.4
graph2.png
graph3.png

graph5.png











When evaluating the costs for maintaining an adult in a Federal or State prison, Harlow found that it averaged $26,000 annually. This compares with tuition at a state four-year institution which averaged $25,000 a year in 1997. In comparison, it is slightly more advantageous to educate the adult criminal population as to incarcerate them. In fact in 1997, 2% of the adult population without a high school degree were incarcerated whereas 1.2% of adults possessing a high school diploma. These rates drop to 0.3% when looking at the adults with some college education, and still further with only 0.1% of college graduates incarcerated.


Society in general reaps the benefits of this by reduced crime in their communities. A 2004 meta-analysis further revealed the importance of college education in crime reduction. The results that "38% of incarcerated adults were complied showing incarcerated adults are re-convicted of a crime after three years” (Chappell). When looking at the inmates possessing a college degree, this reconviction rate drops substantially to 19%. These findings disclose yet another crime reduction advantage to education in the adult criminal population.

State level arrest rates by criminal offense were documented in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports in 1960, 1970, 1980 and 1990 for five different age groups ranging in age from 20 – 59. The findings were indicative that crime dropped substantially with an average of one additional year of education. The average reduction was 11-12% and is summarized for murder and assault, vehicle theft, arson and burglary: (Lochner &Moretti) Statistically, these results show a positive correlation between education attainment, and a reduction in adult crime and incarceration. An article in the New York Times, referenced a study showing that “one in every ten young male high school dropouts is in jail or juvenile detention, compared with one in 35 young male high school graduates” (Dillon). These staggering differences show the importance of keeping young adults in school long enough to receive their high school diploma. As a result of this type of research, about nine in ten State prisons and all Federal prisons offer educational programs for their inmates. In fact, “the percent of State and private prisons offering educational programs increased from 1995 to 2000” (Harlow). The most prevalent type was secondary education focused on preparing inmates to completgraph_4.pnge their GED, followed by basic math and reading coursework. The study’s findings are shown below:

Educational Programs
State
State
Federal
Federal

2000
1995
2000
1995
With an Education Program
91.2%
88.0%
100.0%
100.0%
Basic Education
80.4%
76.0%
97.4%
92.0%
Secondary Education
83.6%
80.3%
98.7%
100.0%
College Courses
26.7%
31.4%
80.5%
68.8%
Special Education
39.6%
33.4%
59.7%
34.8%
Vocational Training
55.7%
54.5%
93.5%
73.2%
Without Education Program
8.8%
12.0%
0.0%
0.0%






Jobs & Income: It's not as easy to get back on your feet with a criminal record.


Ex-criminals are subject to background checks. Background checks cause ex-convicts to take jobs that most people do not want where they would earn less income than people who are not ex-criminals. Ex-convicts even face inequality within the jobs that most people do not want because these jobs are now proliferating background checks. For example, Wal-Mart, one of the largest corporate employers with more than 1.2 million workers, said it would conduct criminal background checks on all applicants in its United States stores (Zimmerman 1). The former policy for Wal-Mart employees was to only conduct background checks for only certain personnel, including prevention and pharmacy employees (Zimmerman 1). If companies like Wal-Mart are starting to use background checks more frequently, it can then be seen that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find work if one has a criminal history. More and more businesses are using criminal-background checks to guard against negligent-hiring lawsuits, theft of company assets, and even terrorism (Zimmerman 1). Almost 80% of big companies in the United States now do these checks, whereas in 1996 only 56% of companies used background checks (Zimmerman 1).

Due to many large businesses reliance on background checks, many companies are at the risk of imposing unfair barriers to rehabilitated criminals. When companies impose unfair barriers to rehabilitated criminals, criminals are unable to find legitimate jobs, which may cause them to be driven back to committing crimes (Zimmerman 1). Many large companies including General Motors, Ford Motor, General Electric, Citigroup, International Business Machines, American International Group, and as stated previously Wal-Mart, have all began checking their job applicants backgrounds for criminal records (Zimmerman 1). Lewis Maltby, president of the National Work Rights Institute, stated that forty-six million people in this country have been convicted of something sometime in their lives and our economy would collapse if none of them could get jobs” (Zimmerman 1). Ex-convicts have the ability to rehabilitate into the norms of society and it is very unfair as to how difficult it is for ex-criminals to do so when there are numerous barriers stopping them from doing so. An example of one of the barriers that ex-criminals face is unstable unemployment, which is the inability for an ex-criminal to find employment for long periods of time, regardless of the their number of attempts.

USE_GRAPH_1!!!.png
As previously stated, unstable unemployment is just another obstacle that ex-criminals face becaue after a first-time conviction, there is a tendency of unstable unemployment to follow (Apel). As seen in this graph, unstable employment is clearly the modal work experience among incarcerated and non-incarcerated people following their first conviction (Apel). “Stable employment,” “stable unemployment,” and “stable nonparticipation” are situations in which subjects face barriers to entering the workforce after conviction (Apel). “Unstable employment” is a situation in which subjects report being employed in addition to being unemployed or out of the labor force (or both)(Apel). “Unstable unemployment” describes a subject who reports not being employed at all and being both unemployed and out of the labor force at various times during the reference period (Apel 20).



The reason that background checks have become prevalent is due to technological advances which have made these checks faster and cheaper for companies. Even if ex-criminals solely seek job opportunities at entry-level positions, which they are encouraged to do, businesses can now afford to do background checks, which causes even the easiest jobs to obtain to even be difficult for ex-criminals to get (Zimmerman 1). Bar companies in the United States have a “zero-tolerance” policy, which disables them from hiring anyone with a criminal record with any kind of crimes, even though there is a federal law that prohibits a criminal history from being an absolute barrier to hiring (Zimmerman 1). Due to this scrutiny applicants lie because of the fear that they will be rejected a job solely because of their criminal backgrounds. It is very hard for applicants to even understand why they are rejected because companies can cite other reasons in the report despite their actual reasoning for declining someone. Furthermore, companies are not required to give a person a copy of the report if the employer conducts the search themselves, but are required to give a copy of the report to a seeker of a job position solely because of a criminal offense (Zimmerman 1). Therefore, even if Wal-Mart states that, “their background checks will only be conducted on a case-to-case basis, and that people with a criminal record could still be offered a job depending on how long ago it occurred and the type of job being filled,” is it believable?

When background checks are preformed, white men with prison records receive more job offers than black men whom are under the same circumstances (Zielbauer 1). According to a study that assessed the effect of race on job searches with criminal records, it was concluded that ex-convicts who are black have a harder time succeeding than white men would even when their background checks are similar in the terms of their personalities, interpersonal skills, education levels, work history, and the neighborhoods they said they lived in (Zielbauer 1). According to a study conducted by Princeton University, it is said that having a criminal record reduced the number of positive responses from employers by 57% for black applicants, but only by 35% for their white counterparts. Furthermore, Latinos also fared better than black people did (Porter 1). When a person has a felony conviction, it confers roughly to the same penalty to job applicants that minority status does (Porter 1). The findings from the above studies demonstrate that employer discrimination along the lines of race, ethnicity, and criminal conviction status remains a salient source of inequality in labor markets (Porter 1).
Graph_#2..png

Regardless of applicants' race-ethnicity, a criminal prison record severely deflated their employment prospects, measured by likelihood of receiving a callback to schedule a job interview (Weiman). For the white applicants their chances fell by one-half from 34 to 17 percent (Weiman). The prison effect was even greater for African-American men, whose overall prospects were rather dim to begin with (Weiman). Black applicants with a clean record received callbacks only 17 percent of the time—that is at the same rate as the white job-seekers with a prison record (Weiman). The additional impact of a criminal record, moreover, lowered their employment chances by over two-thirds to only 5 percent (Weiman). This data supports the above data from another study which states that African American men have a more diffuclt time finding work after conviction whereas White Caucausion do not (Weiman).

Graph_#3..png

Within this graph, an employer’s willingness to hire applicants with a criminal record into a last filled non-college job is demonstrated (Weiman). The results show that most employers’ response was that it depended on the crime committed (Weiman). The next most popular response was that most employers would probably not employ someone with a criminal record (Weiman). Overall, this graph shows how difficult it is for ex-criminals to get hired even at a job that does not require a college education (Weiman).



Graph_#4..png




In this graph for each demographic group, it shows the employment, hourly earnings, and total earnings of 30-year old men with a prison record relative to comparable men who were never incarcerated (Weiman). African-American men with prison record, for example, worked 5.1 percent fewer weeks per year and earned 12.4 percent lower wages than their peers without one (Weiman). All told, a prison record reduced their annual income by 37 percent (Weiman). A prison record diminished the aggregate earnings of white and Hispanic former inmates by roughly the same magnitude, but had a significantly greater negative impact on their wages than employment rates (Weiman).



Graph_#5..png




In this study the inmates on the verge of release were certainly eager to find a job but also anxious about their prospects (Weiman). The vast majority regarded employment as "important," especially if they wanted to "go straight" and to avoid a return trip to prison (Weiman). Prisoners expressed considerable uncertainty about their employability (Weiman). Prior to their incarceration, these individuals lacked the educational background, work experience, and hence skills to land a good job (Weiman). Around two-thirds reported working just prior to their incarceration, but most likely stitched together a portfolio of jobs from the formal, informal, and illegal sectors (Visher, 2007; see also Kling, 2004: 16). Strikingly, while in prison relatively few availed themselves of the training programs and work opportunities to remedy these gaps (Weiman). The vast majority admitted that they would need help from family members, friends, and neighborhood social service organizations (Weiman).

With all of that being said, it is obious that criminals that are released from prison have difficulty finding corporate jobs. One of the ways that ex-criminals get back into the norms of the society is through programs and institutions that teach ex-criminals how to build a life, after being out of the workforce and out of everyday life for so long. An example of an institution that has had much success among ex-criminals is the Bay Area Institution, which is a restaurant where the staff is all ex-criminals, where ex-convicts live together, run businesses, and move towards self-sufficiency (Cohen 1). This institution is orderly and nonviolent even though it may seem so and also has graduates who move on in larger numbers to private businesses, and many go further: one was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and another was headed the city’s housing agency (Cohen 1). The Bay Area Institution states, “If ex-convicts learn—or are taught by others—as at our institution—to fit in with the noncriminal world, most of them will” (Cohen 1). Even though it is hard for many ex-criminals to find corporate jobs, when they are taught to rejoin society, through a mechanism such as the Bay Institution Area, many ex-cons can become more successful than those who were never convicted.

Many ex-convicts who are released from prison become very successful after attending programs like, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, which would teach ex-inmates entrepreneurship (Hofman 1). Hans Becker, an ex-convict who served a five-year prison term, who was in for litany of parole violations that included simple assault, forging an ID, cocaine possession, and driving while intoxicated, is now a successful owner of Armadillo Tree and Shrub Company. Becker took the skills that he learned through his correctional program and started a successful business, which allows him to make a six-figure income (Hofman 1). Catherine Rohr, the founder of PEP, has had 47 graduates that have started businesses and 5 others now have jobs that pay over $100,000 or more a year. She helped the inmates find housing upon release, set up back accounts, and keep up with their parole officers in order to help rejoin the ex-convicts into society (Hofman 1). Becker states that, “More than any one skill, PEP taught me that people in business would accept me for who I am, as long as I build a business that is solid and ethical; they gave me hope” (Hofman 1). It can be seen that through these programs and institutions ex-criminals can be successful and live the norms of everyday life like they used to before imprisonment. Inequality is still relevant in many ways for ex-criminals, but through these programs, inequality is made less of a problem.




Housing: Challenges with a Criminal Record

In regards to criminal background checks, there are laws in place to protect convicted felons from rental denial as people can find it hard to rent housing due to their past criminal records. People who have been committed of a crime are protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act. Landlords are allowed to run background checks but are not allowed to turn an applicant away based on past conviction. Instead a landlord can turn an applicant away based on the bad conduct that the conviction was based on such as the manufacturing or distribution of illegal substances. But in order to do this the courts must decide if the conduct is grounds for application denial. Also, the landlord is allowed to turn an applicant away based on foreseen harm to others around that applicant. In summary, a landlord has the right to run a background check on all tenants but is not allowed to discriminate against them based on past criminal records and must try to find another way to reject the applicant that falls within the laws of the Federal Fair Housing Act. (Kimball)

Re-entry Programs for Ex-Offenders
Many convicts come out of prison with out a clue of what to do and how to get back onto their feet. Luckily, many re-entry programs are available for ex-offenders from government agencies, Faith based organizations, and advocacy groups which help ex-offenders by offering career and personal counseling, coordination with landlords, contact help with employers, and help through mental health experts. Not only does this help ex-prisoners find homes, but it also saves money. If an ex-offender re-offends then it creates an inflation in cost the running prisons to house a person. These programs are very successful and a great option for ex-offenders to find a new life. (Powers)

Graph4.gif
This Graph represents the re-incarceration rates of ex-offenders 12 months after their prison release. As you can see the re-incarceration rates are much lower with the completion of re-entry programs. (NIDA)

Halfway Housing and Ex-Offenders
Many ex-offenders leave prison with no family to turn to, they are not allowed back to their homes, they don't have enough money for this and last months rent, and they are released with 50-90 dollars of "gate money" to fend for themselves. So where do these people end up? A large portion of them go to halfway houses and in some cases these halfway houses offer re-entry help as discussed above. Many of these halfway houses are unwanted by the neighborhoods that they are in, as one would expect, in fear of an increase in crime rates. But, a study done the Justice Policy Institute and researchers at George Washington University found that crime rates in these neighborhoods are not any higher than those of neighborhood without a halfway house for ex-offenders. The research also found that property values still were increasing in areas with these halfway houses which shows that ex-offenders are getting the help needed to re-start their lives in a good way. (Karaim, NPR)




Education: A Positive Way to Stay Out of the System

Did you know?


You never would have thought that dropping out would mean that you are more likely to end up in prison; but it is true. Students dropping out is an increasing problem in the United States. All these students dropping out adds up and creates the one million students that the video tells you about. Which, like we saw in the video, that one million makes up for 82% of the prison population. This doesn't mean that all drop outs end up in prison, it just means that if you do drop out you have a higher risk to end up in jail. When the drop outs who did end up in jail get out of jail they do not have the skills they need to be successful in the working world and they usually end up back in prison because of their lack of skills.

Quite often, individuals released from prison have nowhere to turn. With no education, difficulty finding housing and no money due to their background, employment can be a significant challenge. Sadly people then start to get desperate and eventually end up getting re-arrested. Within 3 years, 67% of people released from prison nationwide are re-arrested and 52% are re-incarcerated (Criminal Justice). Of the 600,000 criminals that are released each year, 70% of those are re-arrested within three years of their release (Peter Evans). Some people say that this is due to the lack of education that these criminals have and the lack of finances or financial aid so they resort back to criminal acts. But when looking at your eligibility for financial aid to further your education, no crime will affect your eligibility except for a drug possession and/or distributing drugs. Penalties for these charges are as follows:

- 1st offense with possession: One year of ineligibility
- 2nd offense with possession: Two years of ineligibility
- 3rd offense with possession: Indefinite ineligibility

- 1st offense with distribution of illegal drugs: Two years of ineligibility
- 2nd offense with distribution of illegal drugs: Indefinite ineligibility

As you can see penalties for distributing illegal drugs are much stricter that the possession of illegal drugs. Other than illegal substance affiliations, eligibility for financial aid is not effected. Committing another crime could possibly put you up for expulsion from the program but the extent of work the judicial system has to do may make expulsion possible which in turn makes it easier to find ways around not being expelled. Furthermore, you cannot receive financial aid while incarcerated. Many criminals that are released from prison try to get financial aid so that they can get an education and get into programs to help them better themselves so that they can get a good steady job.

There are many resources out there for criminals released to start rehabilitation but do we really know what their success rates are? We assume that they work but the best result found was a 10% reduction in recidivism (Peter Evans). With this low rate of success no wonder why there is a 70% rate of recidivism (Peter Evans). Even though a lot of these programs do not work there are some that do work and create positive results in reducing re-incarceration rates.

wiki.jpg
As you can see in this graph the percent of offenders who return to prison after only two years of being released has gone down since 1994, but there is still a high percentage of people getting rearrested. Part of this decrease can be said to be from the education programs offered in prisons. Prisons are now offering inmates the chance to earn a high school or college degree by offering more school programs in the prisons. One example is the Washington State Penitentiary which is shown in the video below. This program is only a few years old but they are offering a college degree to inmates who are wanting to get an education and who meet the requirements. These inmates are only able to get an Associates of Arts degree but this program offers inmates the chance to change and turn their lives around.


*Did their lack of education to begin with cause them to commit the crime?

In the United States there are roughly 2,000 schools; which in these schools about 40% of the freshman class will leave school by their senior year (Ira S. Wolfe). Which amounts to 6.2 dropouts in the nation (Peter Evens), which drop outs are eight times more likely to be in jail or prison as a person with a high school degree (Ira S. Wolfe). When students drop out they do not have the skills they need to succeed. For students to be successful in the new economy they need to have a sound academic background and highly developed soft skills (Ira S. Wolfe).


The lack of education some inmates have played a part in their incarceration. These inmates make up over half of the prison population. Statistics show that 75% of state prison inmates and 59% of federal inmates are high school dropouts (Neva Grant). With these kinds of statistics it is hard not to point the finger at their lack of education as the reason for their incarceration. Many statistics show that a high school dropout is 3.5 times more likely to be incarcerated then a student with a high school degree (Neva Grant). To break it down even farther, on in about every ten young male dropouts gets arrested, where as one in about 35 young male high school graduates gets arrested (Peter Evens). For young black males it is even worse, one in four young black male dropouts get arrested (Peter Evens).

Students have many different reason for why they drop out of school. Some may have problems at home or get bullied at school. Some may have a mental or physical disability that makes learning difficult. But the most common reason for why students drop out of school is boredom or that the classes were not interesting (Parks). In multiple studies of reasons why students drop out, they found that the most common reasons besides boredom and no interest are external influences, lack of support, family and friends, family problems, bullying, sickness, and failing classes (Parks). It is important that we are keeping our students engaged and interested in learning and keep them from dropping out. This is important because if they drop out they have a high chance of going to prison later on in their lives.



Solutions to the Types of Inequalities Mentioned

  • America is in a current state of disarray when it comes to the economy and job opportunities. Having a simple daily routine of steady and consistent employment, independent of its economic attractions, will help to reduce the opportunities for offending (Western). Living in a neighborhood with social organization will also contribute to smaller numbers in offenses. If communities have a higher rate of people with ties to employers, voluntary organizations and friends, the likelihood of high rates of violence and other crime is minimized (Western). In addition, a stable two parent household can head off delinquent activity at a young age by monitoring children's activities and divert them to the appropriate peer networks; poor families likely to be headed by a single parent have less resources to restrain crime (Western). If we can stop the cycle of low income single mothers that give birth to less opportunistic children more prone to crime, they we can start to slow the numbers of arrests and those getting shuffled through the criminal justice system.
  • America needs to stop creating areas of concentrated poverty within cities. The population seems to be intent on keeping these people in one area, thus creating more inequality (ex. Caprini Green in Chicago). These neighborhoods lack the social constraints to thrive and create a breeding ground for crime. If there is a way to make neighborhoods more diverse then the poor will have more opportunities and the participation and involvement with crime will lessen.
  • Videos (www.jailtojob.com) give ex-criminals advice that can help them find employment without all the barriers and complications that most of this population face. The first video talks about specific ways that ex-convicts can get jobs. "From Jail to a Job, by Eric Mayo" a book that is discussed in this video is full of tips that ex-criminals will not find anywhere else. The author specializes in professional and personal development with a special emphasis on life skills and job readiness training . He has over twenty years of corporate and educational experience which he uses to help people improve the quality of their lives. He is an expert at teaching people how to get jobs, which makes this video a credible source. This video states that if ex-offenders are taught exactly what to do the barriers that most people with a criminal background face are no longer an obstacle. In the second video the author explains how ex-criminals can send professional resumes and cover letters. If ex-criminals send these documents to employers they will get interviews and hopefully a job. This helps ex-criminals to get around the application process, which makes their chances of getting a job greater. Overall, the main solution to the inequality ex-offenders face when trying to get a job after being released is to first educate oneself about the issue, through watching these videos, buying a book which teaches the above skills listed in the videos, or to even enter an intervention program to teach the skills that one would need to re-enter the workforce.
    Real Help for Ex-Offenders and Felons Looking for Jobs

    Advice for Ex-Offenders : Sending Resumes and Cover Letters

  • When looking at the best solution to rehabilitating ex-offenders and getting them back on their feet to a semi normal life, the best option would be the re-entry programs that are talked about above. As mentioned earlier, offenders that successfully complete the re-entry programs and stick with it are much more likely to lead normal and fulfilling lives than those who do not. Not only do the re-entry programs help the ex-offender, they also save the jails money by not having the person return to the prison system. When ex-offenders enter back into the prison system, inflation in the costs of running jails occurs.
  • What can we do to solve these problems in our education system? How can we get students more involved and interested in school? Some studies have found that the best ways to get students involved is by explaining things in class more precisely so that all the students understand. Another way is by rewarding the students so they have something to work towards. Also, by showing the students that you care about them and that you care if they do well helps to keep students interested in school. Another way is by getting the students involved and by having them participate in class. One should also teach the students inductively so they are discovering the solutions on their own. One should also attend to students' needs, have visuals while teaching, and have energy and emotion while teaching the students and they will respond (Harris). By doing all of the above, teachers can involve students with school and their education, which would lower the likeliness of them becoming involved in crime.




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When evaluating the costs for maintaining an adult in a Federal or State prison, Harlow found that it averaged $26,000 annually. This compares with tuition at a state four-year institution which averaged $25,000 a year in 1997. In comparison, it is slightly more advantageous to educate the adult criminal population as to incarcerate them.In fact in 1997, 2% of the adult population without a high school degree were incarcerated whereas 1.2% of adults possessing a high school diploma. These rates drop to 0.3% when looking at the adults with some college education, and still further with only 0.1% of college graduates incarcerated.