Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Incarceration Instead of Education?

At one time, it seemed that prison was reserved for violent offenders who posed a threat to public safety and to those who were repeatedly convicted for felonious acts. Those times have changed. The number of federal crimes, newly enacted by Congress, have exploded over the last three decades.

Consider this. From 1925 to 1972, the prison population fluctuated between 100,000 and 200,000 inmates. In 1980, there were less than 500,000 Americans in prison. On June 30, 2002, the number of incarcerated topped 2 million. At the beginning of 2008, the nation’s total inmate count was more than 2.3 million. To be sure, the great majority of America's incarcerated population has one thing in common: poverty. Yet, it's clear the opposite is occurring. Rather than trying to reduce the over 4,000 offenses that carry criminal penalties in the United States Code, more are being created everyday... in addition, lawmakers are upgrading misdemeanors to felonies!

Take, Tonya McDowell, a 33-year-old homeless mom, who was charged with "first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny for allegedly stealing $15,686 from Norwalk schools," for using her babysitter's, Ana Rebecca Marques, address to send her six-year old to school.  Not only that, Ms. Marques was kicked out of her residence at the housing authority.  Can you say, 

Dr. Boyce Watkins, a social justice advocate and Syracuse University professor said the following:

The message now is that they would rather incarcerate than educate. This is no different from the days when slaves were jailed for trying to learn to read."
Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness  would agree, I'm sure.

In another case, in January, Kelley Williams-Bolar of Akron Ohio was convicted and sent to jail after she used her father’s address to enroll her two children in a suburban school district, in an effort to better their education.
"Additionally, Williams-Bolar’s father, Edward L. Williams, was charged with a fourth-degree felony of grand theft, in which he and his daughter are charged with defrauding the school system for two years of educational services for their girls. The court determined that sending their children to the wrong school was worth $30,500 in tuition"
What makes these arrests all the more horrifically absurd, is that our nation's elitist thugs not only go free, but are continuing to reap enormous reward.

Links:

Children of Incarcerated Parents Fact Sheet

1 comments:

Anonymous,  17:54  

This is outrageous! Talk about kicking a dog when he's down.

People will not wake up until this kind of stuff starts happening to the "professional class". When they start losing their jobs, and they have, that's when enough will be enough.

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP