$35,000 [Blog] – Generation Justice

When I heard the amount of money it cost put a single person in incarceration, the first thing that came to mind was the book The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. In the very beginning of the book the main character is released from prison. He does not have much to come back to due to the Great Depression, and wishes he was back in prison where he would be provided food and a place to live. If the book was translated into this modern era, the only payment he would be providing is his time in confinement, while the government is funding $35,000 for his imprisonment. Society would rather provide the monetary support a prison requires rather than use that money to keep youth out of jail or strategically put that money in early childcare development.

One of ten young males who drop out of high school end up in prison and the rates are higher for minorities. Early childcare development can prevent this because when kids are raised in a supportive environment their behavioral problems decrease, while their learning ability increase. It is said that by first grade teachers can tell the future high school success of a child based on that child’s reading level.

$35,000 , the cost it takes to provide the lifestyle of a single person who is incarcerated, that is the difference in keeping someone out of jail or in jail. Our tax money should be efficiently used as a long term prevention solution for incarceration, and the drop-out rate, with a greater emphasis on early childcare development.

by Haarika Reddy