Does Illiteracy Affect Crime and Poverty Rates?

1757 Words Jan 28th, 2018 7 Pages
Illiteracy is a growing problem in the United States. The amount of juvenile delinquents entering correctional facilities that are considered “functionally illiterate” is at an astonishing 85%. Being functionally illiterate means that these children lack reading and comprehension skills that are necessary in order to function in everyday situations as well as the ability to work and maintain a job. Complete illiteracy means a person cannot read or write at all. Functional illiteracy affects a person’s ability to, for example, read medicine labels, fill out a job application, read a bank statement, etc. While being illiterate does not mean a person is going to commit crime, it does make it more likely. The link between crime and illiteracy is evident in the amount of children who enter these facilities unable to place into or above the “basic” level of literacy defined by the National Assessment of Adult Literacy. According to, 32 million U.S. adults, which is 14% of our entire population alone do not know how to read. Another 21% can’t even read past the level of a 5th grader. A surprising 15% of high school graduates lack comprehension skills also. These numbers are astounding. The availability of public schools and opportunities to learn are endless, yet people still do not know how to read. The Department of Justice states that “the link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and…
Open Document