Fewer Teachers Mean Higher Incarceration Rates

In yesterday’s Panopticonic article — Romney Wants Fewer Teachers, Cops and Firefighters — I argued fewer teachers would lead to more crime.  Some readers commented in email there was no proof of that common sense notion, so today, I provide some hard and unavoidable facts here in Carceral Nation confirming fewer teachers create larger class sizes and larger class sizes create higher dropout rates:

Oregon’s annual dropout rate over the last decade has dipped and climbed with the number of teachers. When the number of teachers dropped to nearly 27,000 in 1998, the dropout rate hit 6.9 percent. When teacher ranks climbed to 31,000 in 2007, the dropout rate had fallen to 3.2 percent.

High school dropout rates also soar in unappealing incarceration percentages divided by Racial lines:

On any given day, about one in every 10 young male high school dropouts is in jail or juvenile detention, compared with one in 35 young male high school graduates, according to a new study of the effects of dropping out of school in an America where demand for low-skill workers is plunging. …

The report puts the collective cost to the nation over the working life of each high school dropout at $292,000. Mr. Sum said that figure took into account lost tax revenues, since dropouts earn less and therefore pay less in taxes than high school graduates. It also includes the costs of providing food stamps and other aid to dropouts and of incarcerating those who turn to crime.

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Wild West American Justice

America is a country that loves to punish.  We punish foreign nations.  We discriminately punish our own.  This week, The Economist rightfully flays the ongoing — and failed — notion of Wild West American Justice where the punishment rarely fits the crime.

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Why I am Not Buying an iPhone 3G S

I have been a big iPhone lover in the past; but I’m unexcited about the iPhone 3G S and I refuse to incarcerate myself in anticipation, longing and waiting for iPhone wish fulfillment ever again.  The White Apple of Death still leaves a hauntingly bitter taste in my mouth a year later.

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Debtor Prison Nation

We believe the United States doesn’t imprison people for failing to pay their bills — and that’s generally true — unless, that is, you happen to live in Florida and you owe the state court system money. 

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The Illusion of Community Sentences

The UK have always been forward thinking and proactive when it comes to comforting the human condition in medicine and trying to alleviate the suffering in the halls of incarceration.  It must have been difficult to accept the notion that — over the last four years as “Community Sentences” rose as a diversionary tactic to reduce the prison population — the incarceration rate rose just as well.

Continue reading → The Illusion of Community Sentences