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Subject:Children , arrests, and statistics
Time:01:54 am
I was reading an SFGate article on police guidelines for dealing with children when parents are arrested. A lot of it made sense, but then I came across this quote:

"As many as 1 in 10 children in California are estimated to have a parent in jail or prison or on parole or probation, she said."

Ten percent?! Assuming an equal distribution of breeding (which we can't really do), that would imply that 5-10% of adults had been in trouble with the law.

I'm running through my circle of friends, and to the best of my knowledge I don't know one single person who fits those criteria. I'm sure that some of the people I play poker with have a history with the penal system, but they aren't the ones I'm likely to get to know well.

Do I really lead that much of a sheltered life?
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fich
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Time:2006-12-25 10:25 am (UTC)
Heh.

You said 'penal'.
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catness
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Time:2006-12-25 12:25 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm. I'm gonna have to say "yes" to that question. What we too often don't recognize, is that we self-select when we get to adulthood. Especially if you weren't raised with that around you, you're not likely to set up house later on with people or in circumstances remarkably dissimilar from your upbringing (or your chosen life path).

My half-sister lives in southern Cali, and she and I can't even relate to each other's universes. She lives in a world of high drama, petty crime, bullshit excuses for evil behavior, and constant threat of violence that I would never allow willingly into my day-to-day. It's completely natural to her, and she doesn't give it a second thought. I refuse to live what my dad calls 'street people' life, won't put up with the kind of folks who will steal my stereo after I've offered them crash space in a time of need, or those who stay on the same merry-go-round of abusive/abused living. It's a choice, and a conscious one, but my half-sister doesn't know that choice exists (and a lot of people don't, on either side of that fence). To her, I'm a hopelessly clean-cut do-gooder yuppie, suitable mostly for using, manipulating, or robbing. *shrug*

Also, speaking as an EMT, a lot more goes on out there than I choose to live near, far beyond even the rollercoaster of needless suck I consider my half-sister's life to be. Bleah.
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wild_irises
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Time:2006-12-25 02:47 pm (UTC)
Yes. The minute you say ""... they aren't the ones I'm likey to get to know well," you define the issue very clearly.

I also imagine you have any number of friends who've been in trouble with the penal system and you don't know it. Transpeople are likely candidates for jail time (even if middle class). Several decades ago, at a gathering of women, we discovered that every one of us had been arrested, most either for small stuff or politics (mine was civil disobedience), but one for kidnapping.

In my circle of friends, I can off the top of my head think of one that has done (recent) jail time (sex offender charge, probably entrapment), another who is raising a teenager whose father has been in jail for seven or eight years now (drug charge), one whose brother the cop was in trouble with the law the last time I checked in, and I'm sure there are more.

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abostick59
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Time:2006-12-27 12:19 am (UTC)
And this says nothing of the people for whom you've gone to the station to bail out of jail. (Remember the high school principal who was the bail bondsman in Willows?)
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luckylefty
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Time:2006-12-25 04:13 pm (UTC)
A frighteningly high percentage of those in trouble with the law are in trouble for drug offenses. You probably have plenty of friends who do illegal drugs. But most of them, like yourself, are rich and/or white, and the drug laws are essentially only enforced against the poor and black.
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(Deleted comment)

schmengie
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Time:2006-12-25 05:27 pm (UTC)
i am having a hard time using the term "sheltered" in respect to your life:-). seriously though, from my experience adults who are in trouble with the law have more then the usual number of kids. Many adult males actually have their first brush with a record from not paying child support.
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mspurrmeow
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Time:2006-12-25 06:01 pm (UTC)

Not 'sheltered' per se, just that you choose the people in your life carefully. That's not a surprise to me at all after reading your journal.
We all make choices. For you, the choices are to be around a particular type of people (or not).

Here's the flipside, would it change your opinion about people close to you if you found out they had been arrested? Sometimes 'being arrested' is a long way from actually having committed a crime. I hold to the fact that my beliefs may get me hauled in at one time or another simply for being in the wrong place (for others) at the wrong time. Whether anything comes of it is unlikely, but sometimes arrests and 'sitting behind bars waiting for other people to come help' isn't always on persons fault.

I do see "those people' who don't see being out of the system as a choice, and I wonder if they will ever see the real side (without being SAVED BY JEEBUS!)


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drj0402
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Time:2006-12-25 06:03 pm (UTC)
How many of your friends have children?
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clutch_c
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Time:2006-12-25 06:26 pm (UTC)
The quote was "As many as 1 in 10 children..." not "As many as 1 in 10 parents..." . Suppose (and I don't know if this is true or not) that people who are irresponsible with respect to obeying the law are also irresponsible when it comes to things like contraception and marital fidelity.

In this case, if a man who has fathered 9 children with 4 different women ends up in jail, that adds 9 to the numerator and 1 to the denominator.
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(Deleted comment)

whipartist
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Time:2006-12-25 08:02 pm (UTC)
Sure, but fewer who have been in prison, I would imagine.
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wordweaverlynn
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Time:2006-12-25 08:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, you're sheltered. You're white, middle-class, and apparently from a reasonably functional family. Not that there's anything wrong with that--but it does mean that if, say, friends of yours were busted for cocaine possession, they're less likely to have done jail time and more likely to have spent a few weeks in a comfortable rehab center.

Also, they're not likely to share those details with you, because being arrested means you're no lomger respectable. It's one thing to have pink hair, play poker with the big boys, and beat/get beaten for fun. It's another entirely to be busted and jailed. The first is colorful. The second is profoundly shameful.

catness's point is also very good: that you select your friends and acquaintances for reasonable mental health.
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ts4z
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-12-25 10:57 pm (UTC)
I've wondered the same thing. I know I live a more sheltered life than you, but...

I know of two people busted for DUI. I know one was on probation. I assume the other is.

I knew a guy on probation for income tax violation in the early '90s. He is a printer. A local bookie asked him to print some stuff, and keep it quiet. So he did. (He was violating his probation at the time by taking us on a Boy Scout campout across state lines, if I recall correctly.)

Two guys who I knew from grade school—not the really bad kids, the ones who were just a little psychopathic—kidnapped a guy over a few hundred bucks. One of them was found hung in his cell, although there was some question as to exactly how he got there. The other one still owes me $20 for a prop bet we made in ninth grade that at the time I knew I would never be able to collect.

A guy I knew from Boy Scouts, but a few years younger, shot his girlfriend while at a party. I believe they were in high school at the time.

A friend-of-a-friend worked for a well-known workstation manufacturer. He used to play with explosives and blow up competitors' equipment in the parking lot, just for fun. Someone reported him, and he spent 30 days in a halfway house (after having ATF show up and try and confiscate his very expensive workstation, etc.).

All of these stories are from memory, but definitely verifyable. They are also spread over at least a 15-year period. As I've gotten further from the people I went to high school with, the offenses have gotten pettier.

As far as BARGErs go, you know a few have been busted for gambling-related offenses in some capacity. No doubt several are on probation. It would also greatly surprise me if a number of BARGErs hadn't been busted for DUI. I assume a few have been picked up on trivial drug offenses, and I'd bet at least one has been busted on a fairly major drug offense.

Merry Christmas!
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(Deleted comment)

bbkahuna
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-12-27 08:58 pm (UTC)
I lived two years in the closest thing to a ghetto that Seattle has while I was in high school.

I knew one person who had a brother in trouble with the law, no one had parents in trouble with the law.

But, then again, 72.345% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
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jacqueline1776
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Time:2006-12-26 06:44 am (UTC)
The underlying link is poverty. Poor people both have a disproportionate number of children (so no, there isn't an equal distribution of breeding) and are more likely to be convicted of a crime. So 1 in 10 children could have a parent in jail or prison or on probation without it meaning that 5-10% of the population has been convicted of a crime.
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jacqueline1776
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Time:2006-12-26 06:47 am (UTC)
The statistic for the entire US population is apparently 1 in 32. So parents of children in California are not a representative sample.
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(Deleted comment)

wild_irises
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Time:2006-12-26 07:58 am (UTC)
While large cities are a factor, it is not hard to get into serious trouble in Montana. One thing that has happened in my (admittedly getting long) lifetime is that "trouble" (drugs, guns, etc.) has moved from being centered in the cities into the large and the small towns. Guns are a staple of country living, but they didn't always combine with dangerous drugs the way they do now.

And as wordweaverlynn pointed out to me tonight when we were discussing this thread, in the country people know each other's business, so they know who's been in trouble with the law.
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wild_irises
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Time:2006-12-26 07:58 am (UTC)
Oh, and "bible believers tend to keep their noses clean." That's another stereotype. Don't believe it.
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jacqueline1776
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Time:2006-12-26 08:03 am (UTC)
"they tend to keep their noses clean."

Not according to recent research: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1798944,00.html

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies."
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(Deleted comment)

jacqueline1776
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Time:2006-12-26 09:54 am (UTC)
"As for the statement that a majority of Americans reject evolution. Is this fucking true?"

Yes. The US is a scary, scary place, why do you think so many people want to flee to Canada?
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(Deleted comment)

jacqueline1776
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Time:2006-12-26 09:52 am (UTC)
Stupidity?
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[icon] Children , arrests, and statistics - Patti
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