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View Diary: 1 in 100 American adults in prison or jail (50 comments)

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  •  We do, after a fashion (5+ / 0-)

    Welfare fraud is a very common reason for women specifically to be imprisoned--and as I hope you know, the vast majority of these are not Reagan-fairytale "welfare queen" stories.
    It is just about impossible to receive public assistance without committing acts that the regulations define as "fraud," such as babysitting a friend's child for cash, borrowing money from your mother,  accepting a gift, or not telling the welfare folks that you have a roommate or boyfriend. TANF rates immediately place a mother in an impossible position. For example, on one hand you are now under surveillance by social services and are required to provide a particular size home for your children, but in most cities a TANF check will barely pay the rent on a single room in a shared flat. Good welfare workers understand that you cannot do the impossible, and choose to look the other way as families double up, or grandmothers or boyfriends help with the rent. Unfortunately, there are plenty of ideologues around who choose to scrutinise and prosecute.

    One of the main consequences of being poor in the US is always finding yourself at the thin edge of legality.

    "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between." -- Oscar Wilde

    by expatyank on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:22:13 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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