Jails Affecting Our Communities

What do you think will happen to most criminals after they are  released when they are unable to get a job to provide for themselves due to their criminal record? Jails affect the economy of a community because they often drain money out the small towns it also leads to more concentrated poverty. Currently, small towns in America compete to have prisons in their town because they think jails will bring jobs and more resources. When jails are built in small towns they often create few links to the community’s economy. Jails also affect the growth of poverty because people who are incarcerated get fined and are unable to pay. Most of the time, this leads to incarceration .

Jails drain money out of towns

article image 1Jails bring down the local economy because jails prevent local residents in small towns from making enough money to keep their businesses running. Local officials try convincing the public that there will be more resources and better business in the town, but they don’t keep their word.   According to Thomas ,”Prisons are not very good economic development strategies because  they create few few links to the local economy prisons generally order food and supplies from centralize state warehouses not local grocery or hardware stores” (Pyle). Prisons order food from centralized state warehouses . so , the local stores aren’t getting enough money coming in so they are forced to shut down.

More jails lead to more convictions and fines

PrisonerWhen individuals are incarcerated they tend to get fined for the crimes they commit. When they get out of prison, they are not  able to get a job because they have a criminal record. So, they are unable to adapt to the outside society and they end up going back to the streets. According to the Ella Baker Center of Human Rights, ”People with convictions are saddled with copious fees , fines, and debt at the same time that their economic opportunities are diminished, resulting in lack of economic stability and mobility”(de Vuono-Powell).  In addition, when many families in one area are not able to pay their fines, this leads to concentrated poverty. 

Jails lead to concentrated poverty

ChildrenConcentratedPoverty_chart_710x340Jails affect the economy because the more people get incarcerated, the more poverty gets concentrated in certain areas. According to Suzanne M. Kirchhof, “Record incarceration rates can have long term economic impacts by contributing to increased income inequality and more concentrated poverty” (Kirchhof). The families of the loved ones who get incarcerated get fined and they are unable to pay the fines, which leads to poverty, debt, and income inequality.                      


          Local officials are set with the task of creating jobs and revenue, but when the prisons are made it creates the complete opposite .creates Less jobs  and more concentrated poverty because families are getting fined and evicted, jails also create few links to the local economy . Instead of wasting millions and creating more jails they should use the money to build  after school programs for kids so they won’t be on the streets.


Works Cited                                  

Pyle, Kiven & Gilmore Craig. “Prison town paying the price.” Northampton. The real costs of Prisons Projects, 2005. Print.  

Saneta, de Vuono-Powell, Chris Schweidler, Alicia Walters, and Azadeh Zonrab, “Who pays? The true costs of incarceration on families.” Oakland, CA: Ella Baker Center, 2015.
Kirohhof, Suzanne M. “Economic Impacts of Prison Growth.” Congressional Research Service. 13 Apr. 2010. Web. 13, Oct 2015.


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