The cradle to prison pipeline is a campaign that calls all states to stop spending unnecessary money on the effects of the problems resulting from children being arrested, convicted, incarcerated and death; instead placing taxpayer money on the causes of these issues in order to deter the consequences all together. In Texas, the average cost of sending a student to school for one academic year is approximately $7,246 while sending a child to jail for that same one year is $67,890.
The current statistics of children ending up in a correctional facility are: a black boy 1:3, a latino boy 1:6, a white boy 1:17 and a black girl 1:17, a latino girl 1:45 and a white girl 1:111.
In this astonishing breakdown the Youth Advisory Committee determines that a child can’t be expected to achieve any high level of education when they are confronted with various problems stemming from poverty, lack of medical care, and abuse and neglect.
In a message to the 81st Legislature, it was asked that for once children be made a priority and ensure that valuable taxpayer dollars be invested in ending child poverty, children be given accessible health coverage, affordable mental health services, provide high quality development programs, protect them from abuse and neglect and finally invest in prevention and early intervention.
Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman has spoken on behalf of the Youth Promise Act which focuses on straying away from the idea of ineffective punishment and incarceration and refocusing its attention on preventing and intervening on juvenile delinquency. This particular act tries to substitute the current pipeline to prison to a new innovative notion of a pipeline of success. In the Youth Promise Act, we are provided with a pyramid concept of Key Immediate Action Steps that need to be taken in order to alleviate youth problems.
In this concept, individuals make up the upper portion of the pyramid. Individuals can help youths by mentoring and advocating for them, volunteering in after-school programs, taking part of the foster care system and helping the homeless children and educating the youth on incarceration. The second part of the pyramid consists of families. Families can help the cause by simply spending quality time with their very own family.
They can join the PTA, attend school activities, always praise your child’s successes, tutor, become a foster parent, actively talk and listen to your children, and most importantly show affection, love and respect everyday. Everyone knows the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”, well communities makes the third part of the pyramid. Communities can promote after-school programs, community members should attend public meetings, form support groups for single parents, provide job opportunities, create scholarships, setup clothes and food drives, and startup counseling programs.
The fourth portion of this concept revolves around organizations. Being that organizations can range from small to big, those that can afford it can invest in prevention and intervention, host health fairs, provide free tax filling, educate on conflict resolution, encourage other options rather than incarceration like community service, ensure that counseling and social services are provide to youths in need, and re-invest in parks, schools, and roads. The final part of the pyramid is made up of government agencies.
The government can help by putting all officials up-to-date on this current issue, provide all children with the adequate treatment for behavioral and emotional needs, promote high quality television programming, provide high quality development programs, expand “second-chance” programs, reduce the repeat offenders rates by focusing on appropriate treatments, ensure that children are up to par with their reading levels, and investing in community-based rehabilitation centers and programs.
In conclusion, these causes have solutions but we, as a whole, must unite together and seek a positive outcome in order to save our youth. Everyday we spend money on frivolous things which if it was invested in other ways could definitely provide a brighter future for the next generations to come.
Cite this Cradle to Prison Pipeline
Cradle to Prison Pipeline. (2017, Mar 18). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/cradle-to-prison-pipeline/