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Women’s Incarceration Related to Low Wages

As women’s gun violence victimization climbs in every major
US city, their increased incarceration is overlooked.  We don’t hear reports that include little
children’s questions on why mommy is in jail? or when will Mommy come
home?  Or the thousands of children
forced into the foster care system.  We
focus on headline news that ignores these issues, the real issues.  According to the Sentencing
Project
, women’s incarceration has risen 700% since 1980 from 26,378 in
1980 to 215,332 in 2014.  Approximately 64-84%
of incarcerated mothers
had at least one minor child living with them
before sentencing.  In 2011 2.7
million children
had at least 1 parent in jail.  Racial divisions of these children are
obscene with 1 in 9 African-American, 1 in 28 Hispanic and 1 in 57 white
children having an incarcerated parent.  Approximately
half of these children are below 10 years old.
We must protest for changes within our economic society due to the long
term negative effects on these children and the future of America.  Our children are the future whether they are
your own, kids from down your block or total strangers.  The rise of incarcerated women are jailed for
financially driven crimes including but not limited to: theft, drug dealing,
shoplifting, and embezzlement (Wormer).
We can change the future by increasing job opportunities and wages.

Gainful Employment

Women’s opportunities may have increased yet wages and upper
echelon positions have not.  The stories
on women CEOs are a true rarity exaggerated by the media.  According to the US Department of Labor’s
Women’s Bureau, out of the top 25 jobs that most women are employed more than
half are below the median income for all workers. Women are still bound to
traditional jobs with almost 4 million women paid at or below the federal
poverty level of approximately $437 a week.  These jobs include cashiers, janitors,
waiters/waitresses, housekeeping, retail sales and personal care aides.  The majority of these positions held by minority
women which is directly correlated to the higher number of poverty induced
incarceration crimes.  As people complain
that the Fight for $15 is nonsense, by reviewing the relationship between wages
and incarceration we can see our future is “poor”.  Each mother that goes to jail leaves behind
children that must be cared by tax dollar based programs, rehabilitation
services and more.  Pay a woman what she’s
worth and save future troubles.  

Second Shift
Desperation

A woman’s work is never done is an understatement.  Due to low wages women work more than
men.  According to the Economic
Policy Institute
12% of women work two or more jobs compared to 9.1% of
men.  Single mothers which now raise 1
out of every 4 children in America, make poverty level income.  These women are forced into working several
jobs as they make less than men.  The
stress of working these jobs leads women into tired desperation.   Financial duress leads to crime.  Raise the wage, decrease crime and empower
children’s future.  

Future Trends

As we watched the Women’s March in awe, many forget that
women’s liberation is more rhetoric than reality.  Women may have increased their educational
status and achieved increased non-traditional employment yet single motherhood
and women’s financial crimes have increased.
We must continue the Fight for $15, the fight for economic equality and
stop the prejudicial view of minority employment.  The working poor are not our enemies, they
are our mothers, sisters, nieces, aunts and grandmothers.  End their economic exploitation and in turn
end their incarceration exploitation.  

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