There's A Clear Link Between Education, Prison

By Lila Panagides / Springfield News-Leader

There has been much talk about national security lately focusing mostly on the Middle East.  Image courtesy prx.org

Here at home, we are facing a serious national security crisis that, fortunately, is getting some attention — but perhaps not enough from the public.

This crisis developed over the last 20 years due to poor policy choices and a failure to see downstream impacts.

I'm referring to our prison crisis — the mass incarceration of our people.

The U.S. population is 5 percent of the world's population yet it incarcerates 25 percent of the total world's prison population, just ahead of China and Russia.

Nationally, the statistics are abysmal: If you are born black today, you have a 1 in 3 chance of spending some time in prison; if you are Hispanic, you have a 1 in 6 chance; and if you are born white, you have a 1 in 17 chance of ending up in prison.

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