Social Service

Is The Increase In Prisoners Necessary?

Over nine million people are now held in penal institutions worldwide, a report by the British Home Office revealed, but levels of imprisonment rarely have anything to do with levels of crime. In the United States, the prison population has increased from half a million to over two million in the last twenty years. Yet this is against a background of falling crime rates in that period. Imprisonment is often used, even for petty offenses, as a punishment of first instance, rather than of last resort.

The Working Poor

by Joseph Tisch

As the gap between the highest and lowest paid workers steadily grows, low wage employees have been testing the American belief that hard work cures poverty. A multitude of obstacles keeps the working poor on the edge -- and sometimes beyond the edge -- of household financial disaster. Working poverty is a seamless web of challenges, some personal and some erected by a society content to let the federal minimum wage languish at $5.15 an hour. And that's for those who can avoid the unscrupulous bosses who make their workers falsify their time sheets so they work longer hours for the same pay.

THE PRISON NIGHTMARE

1.5 million children in this country now have a parent in prison.  Eighty-five percent of those in prison grew up in fatherless homes, including 60% of rapists and 72% of murderers.  “They will undoubtedly father children of teenage mothers, for whom they will provide neither financial security nor emotional support, further perpetuating the vicious cycle of the aberrant family system,” wrote juvenile psychologist Mark Holmberg in a 1988 study for the Richmond, VA. judicial system.

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