the state of wisconsin has the highest rate of black male incarceration in the country. according to the u.s. census bureau, one in eight black male residents of the obscure midwestern state were incarcerated in 2010, a figure which doubles the national average.
john pawasarat and lois m. quinn of the university of wisconsin employment and training institute examined two decades of state department of corrections (doc) and department of transportation (dot) files. their astonishing research was part of an assessment of employment and training barriers facing black men in milwaukee county.
they reported more than half of black men in their 30's and 40's had been incarcerated in state correctional facilities; also, only 10% of black men with doc records had a current valid driver's license. they noted thousands of adults in milwaukee's low-income neighborhoods, and particularly black males, have suspended licenses solely for failure to pay fines.
in the neighborhoods with the highest concentration of people returning from prison, there are 25 people looking for work - for every one available full-time job. furthermore, since the 2008 recession, people returning from prison are competing with unemployed and underemployed skilled and unskilled workers for jobs that become available.
among other things, the authors recommend the state revise policies contributing to mass incarceration. they suggest using the cost savings to fund employment and training programs for people who are currently or were formerly in doc custody and to support programs to assist those individuals in getting their licenses reinstated.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.