Chapter 1 Numbers Never Lie
“I have to take advantage of an opportunity of a lifetime, in the lifetime of opportunity”
While writing this book Lebron James just did the impossible by coming back from being behind in the series for the NBA finals. Now I am not a huge basketball fan, but to watch someone go through that and prevail deserves to be made in history. I can appreciate the hard work, dedication, sweat, tears and pain, not just physically but emotionally. The process shows the world that anyone can do anything no matter what the process is.
One game at a time, one quarter at a time, one hour at a time, even one minute. Having the drive to do anything one step at a time and understanding the process is what will make it special.
” We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more people under some sort of department of corrections control, than there were under slavery in 1850.” -how do I know this? I was, and of writing this book still under the thumb of the U. S. Court systems or Probation Dept..
Now don’t you think that is crazy or absurd! We all used to tell ourselves, jail or prison is the “Modern Day Slavery”.
Now after reading my intro and gave you a little brief background without getting into an autobiography, the ideal job was to work for either the Federal Gov’t or City and County. Having that kind of job meant security and in my eyes just driving around. This so called security “plush” job meant doing landscaping on the highways, fixing the roads, picking up trash, cleaning or mowing the parks, etc. you get the idea.
Now days many of the city employees have been replaced by prison workers lucky enough to do the same work either for free, or pennies on the hour. How do I know this…I have done it. With the cut backs on funding the state had to find someway to keep those duties filled, and the cheapest was to in fact use what they are already paying for with food by making us work!
Now don’t get me wrong, to be on a work detail was actually a privilege because you felt like your getting things done and not sitting in your cell 23 hours a day. Most of the time you would work in the jail or prison with correctional staff or go out on an outside detail. I have done both for the state and Federal Bureau of Prison. If your lucky enough to get an outside job you had it made because even though you will be doing manual labor or grunt work the staff usually would be good to you and not judge! They know you made mistakes but didn’t treat you like an animal in a cage. Yeah I have weed wacked the side of the freeway, clean up beaches, cut down trees when in state, but having the freedom out of your cell and the facility was all worth it!
Now you the reader, are getting the picture on this mission to get out of poverty, get away from crime or whatever lets get to some numbers so we know what we are dealing with.
According to Dosomethingnow.org
11 Facts About Global Poverty”
- Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day.
- 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
- 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat. Food banks are especially important in providing food for people that can’t afford it themselves.
- More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water. Diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, or approximately 2,300 people per day.
- In 2011, 165 million children under the age 5 were stunted (reduced rate of growth and development) due to chronic malnutrition
- Preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia take the lives of 2 million children a year who are too poor to afford proper treatment
- As of 2013, 21.8 million children under 1 year of age worldwide had not received the three recommended doses of vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
- 1/4 of all humans live without electricity — approximately 1.6 billion people.
- 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day.
- Oxfam estimates that it would take $60 billion annually to end extreme global poverty–that’s less than 1/4 the income of the top 100 richest billionaires.
- The World Food Programme says, “The poor are hungry and their hunger traps them in poverty.” Hunger is the number one cause of death in the world, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.
Now with facts like these don’t you think people do what they gotta do to survive. If you want to know more about hunger just look it up and read the facts. But here is the bottom line!
- More than 16 million children in the U.S- 22% of all children- live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level- $23,550 a year for a family of four.
- Research shows that, on an average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover just the normal expenses. Using this gauge 45% of children live in low-income families.
- Most of these children have parents who work, but low wages and unstable employment have families struggling to make ends meet. Poverty can interfere with a child ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional and behavioral problems.
- Poverty can also contribute to poor physical health, mental health and self confidence or esteem. Risks are the greatest for children who experience poverty when they are young and/ or experience poverty at a deep and persistence level.
Research has shown that poverty is the single greatest threat to a child’s well being? Poverty is the beginning cycle that leads into getting into things I care to not mention such as petty crime, gangs and a whole lot of other stuff. A kid not getting say the attention, or basic needs will go and get it for themselves.
Now about jail statistics.
We already talked about there are more people under correctional control today then there were in the 1850’s. My friend who I modeled this book after likes to say black men…but that is his take. They are more people period incarcerated somehow or will be incarcerated soon if not already on their way. It is sad to say, but its the truth I have lived it.
Here are more statistics…
- Now believe this or not, the jail or prison system is a profitable business! I have been in facilities private and run by the government that keeps us (cattle) in the bunks. The reason they keep these jails full is…. BECAUSE ITS BIG BUSINESS! I could name a few companies that are publicly held companies on the stock exchange where you can buy stock for an investment portfolio. Yes, its true. It won’t be called Jail Inc, but they are out there, and everyone is in on the take, judges, politicians, you know the deal. Use your imagination.
- Now let me give you the low down with today’s day and age with surveys and technology, numbers and theories. Jails are being built based on children’s performance at the third grade. Why do you think so many jails are being popped up. There is no reform, if there are more jails, there are more bodies needed to put in them.
- There is a belief so far that if a child doesn’t perform or isn’t performing in school by the third grade there is a very good chance they will drop out, end up in the system or be admitted to some sort of program. Guess what? these programs are feeders for the jail system, and trust me I can spot these kids a mile a way when I do my talks for at risk youth.
- Children from low income families fall victim to these because unfortunately they don’t have the resources that gets them into other options, or say private tutoring. Parents working their jobs to put food on their table are not going to worry about their kids education.
- Now can I ask you a question….Sorry as this may sound do you see the cycle or nightmare that has been unfolded?
- Studies show that there is a high percentage of people in the state and federal system that do not have a high school diploma…can you imagine 68% of the hundreds of thousands that don’t even have their GED.
In October 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population. While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world’s population, it houses around 22 percent of the world’s prisoners. Corrections (which includes prisons, jails, probation, and parole) cost around $74 billion in 2007 according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
There are so much facts out there, you can look it up on google and be astounded by it all. Here is another press release from March of 2016…from http://www.prisonpolicy.org/books.html
This report offers some much needed clarity by piecing together this country’s disparate systems of confinement. The American criminal justice system holds more than 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 942 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.S. territories.And we go deeper to provide further detail on why convicted and not convicted people are locked up in local jails.
So many topics so many books out there about this, but I am not the only one that has made the mistakes.
Before we get into any solutions, as I promised the my friend Marquel Russell, who let me model his book that I would share the word on fatherlessness.
Though I had two fathers in my life since I came from a broken home and confused sometimes in reality or in my head I really felt I was fatherless also.
Here are some facts!
- 63% of youth suicedes are from fatherless home ( source: U.S. D.H.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes ( source: Myths and Facts about Fatherlessness by Trish Wilson 2002)
- 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherlessness homes ( source: Center for Disease control)
Now these are just some of the statistics you can find out there…and I can copy, model or write a book on it but for you after you realize what is happening to our kids in our communities and you fast forward to them reaching adulthood, here are some other things to think about if a childs father is not in their lives.
- sad to say they are 5x more likely to commit suicide
- 32X more to run away
- 20x more a chance to have a behavior problem
- 14x more to committ rape
- 9x more a possibility to drop out of high school
- 10x more likely to abuse substances
- 9x more likely to be admitted to some sort of state institution
- 20x more likely to end up in prison.
Now if you look at those staggering multipliers or how much likely kids and their outcomes could be in the next few years…it is sad.
Now I am not perfect and here is a confession, I have made my mistakes with my two daughters and part of sharing this book and writing this book is part of my confession to what I have caused.
Lets end this with a quote to move on.
“The human father has to be confronted and recognized as human, as man who created a child and then, by his absence, left the child fatherless and then Godless.”-Anais Nin