Poverty, even more than race or ethnicity determines who ends up in prison in the USA.  And, there is a connection between poverty and lack of education in the USA:  the less education one has, the poorer one will be and thus more likely to end up in prison.  This is the biggest and most important reason I can give people for doing all they can to keep our kids in school and to help those between the ages of 18 and 29 who have dropped out of school.  [Note:  even if you don’t like kids you should contribute in any way you can to this effort because people in jail cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year.]

Our jails and prisons are mostly filled with America’s poor. Since black people are far likelier to be impoverished or low-income, they’re also far likelier to be locked up.

The probability that a low-income black man has been jailed is around 52 percent; for an upper-income black man it’s 14 percent. That statistic reveals a lot about the role of poverty's relationship to those in American prisons.

Most of the people in prison in the USA are poor. The prison population of 2.2 million is evenly divided between black and white.  But one thing the overwhelming majority of inmates have in common is lack of education and poverty.

Year after year, the United States beats out much larger countries -- India, China -- and more totalitarian ones --Russia and the Philippines -- for the distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world. According to a 2018 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), nearly 2.2 million adults were held in America's prisons and jails at the end of 2016.

Another way to put America's love of prisons in a global perspective: While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world's population, it houses around 22 percent of the world's prisoners. The American criminal justice system’s glaring racial disparities are well known: Black people make up nearly 40 percent of America’s incarcerated population and only 12% of our population at large. Black people are more than five times as likely than whites to be behind bars.  Thus, to say that racism does not play a part would be inaccurate; however, as noted by the fact that only 14% of educated black men could expect to go to prison compared to 52 percent for low-income black men. Education plays the overriding prominent role in what a person can expect for their income over their lifetime.  In most cases people with a good education earn twice that of people with no education.

The American prison system is bursting at the seams with people who have been shut out of the economy and who had neither a quality education nor access to good jobs. In 2014 dollars, incarcerated people had a median annual income of $19,185 prior to their incarceration, which is 41% less than non-incarcerated people of similar ages.




1. Garland ISD is hosting Community brainstorming sessions to get ideas from our community as to how we can improve our schools for our kids.

2. Richland College, Garland Branch, is teaming with Texas Workforce and local Garland businesses to provide free and meaningful training that will be a stepping-stone to a job that pays a living wage for youth between the ages of 18 and 29.  Often the students they serve are dropouts from high school—kids who were left behind.

3. The Gilbreath-Reed Technological Career opened its doors two years ago to offer training and education in a makerspace environment that appeals to students with the kind of intelligence that likes to learn by doing.  The classes at Gilbreath-Reed are open to Junior and Senior students in the Garland ISD. Many of these classes lead to certifications that can open doors to a good job when the student graduates.  Gilbreath-Reed is an educational facility that among other things also helps to keep at-risk kids in school and learning and preparing in meaningful ways for adulthood.


Private probation companies charge excessive fees to low income people who can't pay small fines like traffic tickets.  If they can't pay they go to jail.

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