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Crime, Poverty and Education: It’s Not Rocket Science

Posted on Sep 11, 2007
Juvenile inmates
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Inmates Tone Knight, left, and Derrick Freeman in the courtyard at the Juvenile Medium Security Facility in Bordentown, N.J. Knight says some inmates at the prison are just misunderstood. “You get guys who just demand a certain kind of attention,’’ says Knight, who has spent about four years in detention centers for attempted murder but is now on his way out and headed to college.

Truthdig regulars Sheerly Avni, James Harris and Josh Scheer put their heads together to try to figure out why the big problems that plague our communities never get solved.

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Click here for a Transcript of this discussion.

For more, read “It’s the Ecstasy, Stupid” by Sheerly Avni, and “Ingredients for Murder” and “The Invisible City: Entering Oakland” by James Harris.

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By Mike J., September 21, 2007 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
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Nothing will change without a mass uprising of the people. The corporate ruling elite are very satisfied with control of the system as well as having underlings to attack and subjugate. Their is no complex problem nor mystery here. It is the American elitist, racist, capitalistic system performing at maximum efficiency.

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By DHFabian, September 14, 2007 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
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America’s concept of our own poverty has been determined by opportunistic politicians, and kept under control by mainstream media, to the degree that even the more progressive among us rarely even acknowledge our poverty, much less investigate it. America doesn’t know about the significant success of welfare programs before “reform” (some 80% voluntarily quit welfare in under 5 years, with long-term recipients being those with serious physical/mental health care needs) or about the horrendous impact of welfare “reform”. They also seem to have no concept on the impact of workfare policies on the general economy/wages. Any discussion is usually limited to some vague concept to somehow “move people from welfare to work”, from the standpoint that poverty is social deviance rather than an economic issue, based on the bizarre idea that poverty is merely a “lifestyle choice”.
“Let ‘em pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” 

Americans in poverty need food and medical care, not slogans. But as long as the general population remains unaware of the causes, depth and range of US poverty today, this discussion won’t even begin.

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By Chuckwagonchuckie, September 13, 2007 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
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The core problem is attitude. Society is putting young people in jail/prison at a rate of $30000 to $40000 per year per person. After being released what have we gotten for our money. More of the same.
Teen agers are young adults seeking their place in society. Many of the kids who drop out have mental problems,lack of desire and should be in a technical job training by the time they are in the 9th grade. All kids are not college material and some do not have the intelligence to ever be much better off than minimum wage people but they need to be productive.

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By RICHARD SHADE, September 13, 2007 at 2:09 am Link to this comment
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