45 percent of adults found to have incarcerated family member

Almost half of adults in Texas and across the United States have an immediate family member who has been incarcerated. The new study, which is believed to be the most accurate of its kind, was done by researchers at Cornell University. The findings were double what researchers had believed prior to the study. Researchers used a nationally represented study to gather the statistics. More than 4,000 people were included in the study.

Of all adults surveyed, 45 percent had a parent, sibling, grandparent, child or spouse imprisoned for a criminal conviction at some point in their lives. Siblings were found to be the most common family member to be incarcerated. Though approximately 60 percent of those incarcerated were African-American, and 60 percent were lower-income, all segments had significant statistics. An estimated 15 percent of college-educated, white adults had family members who had been in prison at some point, which surprised researchers.

The study also found that among African-Americans not finishing high school didn't play a significant role; 70 percent of those who didn't graduate high school had an incarcerated family member versus 71 percent who did have a high school diploma. Rates did drop to 55 percent among African-Americans with a college education. Researchers believe that the high number shows the mass incarceration problem that is affecting communities throughout the United States.

There are over 138,000 individuals who are serving time in a Texas prison. These individuals may have long-term consequences in addition to their prison sentences, such as fines and loss of a driver's license and may have a difficult time securing employment and education after leaving prison. Drug possession and drunk driving charges can carry particularly severe consequences in order to deter repeat offenders. This is why it's important to ensure that during the process that no rights are violated. A lawyer can help a person charged with a crime to ensure they are treated fairly during the criminal justice process.

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