This greatly diminishes the earnings thus buying power for many thousands of poverty-stricken women, a considerable sector of the work force.Current federal welfare strategies essentially disregard unemployed men with regard to their needs for vocational education. One of the only federal programs that addressed unemployed family men was the Community Work and Training Program of 1962. Since that time, legislators have not renewed nor considered this type of program. The prison system is one of the only facilities in the U. that provides impoverished men employment or counseling for mental health issues, an unfortunate comment on the values of society (Butterfield, 1998). Incarceration in prison and welfare programs which do not adequately address the needs of women and ignore men altogether are interrelated because of these failed federal policies. “Similar to the poor houses of the past, which combined work with imprisonment, today’s welfare and criminal justice policies represent a division of labor between different managerial agencies, with jails and prisons primarily containing unemployed men, and welfare agencies primarily regulating unemployed women and their children” (Butterfield, 2003). Both the welfare and prison systems exploit immigrants, minorities and poor persons of all ethnicities. Of those women on welfare, a disproportionate percentage is African-American. Approximately 12 percent of all African-American males in the 25 to 34 age-range are currently incarcerated. Impoverished women have incurred the added indignity of an increased rate of imprisonment and a decline of welfare benefits over the past two decades, a not so subtle coincidence. Welfare, a Broken System.
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