I got this call to action today from the Children’s Defense Fund. I thought I’d share it with you. We all should be aware that of the plans that the Prison Industrial Complex has for young black males. They are building prisons to “anticipate” future criminals. They have to have bodies to fill those cells…so they push for harsher sentencing. They give you more years for a smalll crack rock than meth rocks or powder cocaine. It’s not just about guilt and criminal activity…jail is an industry now. Consider joining this effort, some other effort, or create your own effort toward a solution!
Imagine coming into this world with a prison cell
already reserved in your name.
That is the tragedy that awaits at least one in three Black boys. Millions of poor American children are condemned to prison by the time they reach their teens because they are failed at every turn in their lives — failed by their family, the child welfare system and the juvenile justice system.
- Today, 580,000 Black males are serving sentences in state or federal prison, while fewer than 40,000 Black males earn a bachelor’s degree each year.
- A child is born into poverty every 36 seconds and born to a teen mother every 60 seconds.
- Between 2000 and 2006, the number of children living in poverty increased by 1.2 million to reach 12.8 million children. One in six children is poor.
Frankie, who first appeared in juvenile court on a misdemeanor assault charge when he was barely ten years old, embodies this tragedy all too well.Taken from his mother at birth, he was passed from one foster home to another for the first eight years of his life. At the age of ten, this troubled, depressed young boy hit an adult, the police were called and he took another step towards the adult criminal system.
Frankie was failed from birth by all those adults who should have protected and nurtured him — his family, the child welfare system and the juvenile justice system.
For a nation that claims to be the world’s greatest democracy and a beacon for justice and freedom, the “Cradle to Prison Pipeline” is a national disgrace that costs billions of dollars, ruins tens of thousands of our children and deprives us of the young talent that could build a brighter future.
With your help CDF will:
- Continue to demand that public officials renew and increase funding for existing programs, such as early childhood education and health care, which are designed to keep children out of this pipeline.
- Partner with the faith community to create safe havens from the streets and help nurture the minds, bodies, and souls of our children.
Stand with us, and help prevent any more children from following Frankie down that pipeline to a prison cell.
Marian Wright Edelman