The Social Problem Of Poverty

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The social problem is poverty, a risk factor that predisposes disadvantaged groups to incarceration. Data shows that the incarcerated majority are minority groups like African Americans and Latinos. In today’s society, one can argue that both the state and people tend to place the blame solely on the individual. The poor are often stigmatized, associating them with an undesirable stereotype that reduces their value as an individual. Furthermore, people tend to think that those in poverty engage in unlawful activities more often than the White population. As a result, African Americans and Latinos are more likely to be associated with crime and are more likely to be subjected to policing than the White population. There is a racial bias…show more content…
Often times, people in poverty live in neighborhoods where crime is abundant. Moreover, there is an unequal distribution of resources like education, access to healthcare, and jobs which determine individual level outcomes that further predisposes the individual to crime. Individuals are forced to engage in unlawful activities in order to cope with poverty. Moreover, disadvantaged groups like African Americans face discrimination when looking for employment; hence, it is more difficult for them to secure a stable income. In a study, Black applicants who completed high school and had no felony convictions were less likely to be called in for an interview compared to their White counterparts who did not complete high school and had felony convictions (Miller, 2014). One explanation for this might be that Whites are not usually associated with poverty. Stereotypes define those in poverty to look a certain way and often times, African Americans and Latinos are the main groups in poverty. Additionally, people tend to associate poverty with crime. With low skill levels and education, it is difficult to find quality jobs. Under these conditions, people are left with limited options to partake in criminal activities or find legal means to obtain resources, if available at all (Poverty and Crime, 2015).

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