New Study Sheds Light on Dropping Out of School and Future Incarceration…

From the following study – Sum, Andrew et. al. (November 2011). “High School Dropouts in Chicago and Illinois: The Growing Labor Market, Income, Civic, Social and Fiscal Costs of Dropping Out of High School. Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University.

“Due in part to their inferior labor market outcomes and their limited employability skills, high school dropouts are much more likely than their better educated peers to end up incarcerated in jail or prison. In Illinois, dropouts accounted for 51% of the incarcerated population between the ages of 18 and 34 in 2010. In that year, 10% of native-born high school dropouts (18-34) in Illinois were in jail or prison, an incarceration rate that was 2 percentage points above the U.S. average (8.0%).

Among 18-34 year old native-born males, incarceration rates ranged from lows of one-tenth of one percent for those with a B.A. or higher degree to 3% for high school graduates with no completed years of postsecondary schooling, and to a high of 15% for high school dropouts. A native born male high school dropout (18-34 years old) was 5 times more likely to be incarcerated than a native-born male with a high school diploma and nearly 30 times more likely to be in jail or prison as a native-born male with an Associate’s degree.

The incarceration rates of young adult dropouts varied widely across gender and race-ethnic groups. Male dropouts in Illinois and the U.S. are much more likely to be incarcerated than their female peers. The incarceration rate of native-born 18 to 34 year old male dropouts in Illinois was 15%, compared to a rate of under 2% for native born female dropouts in this age group. Black male dropouts in Illinois had by far the highest incarceration rate among the three major race-ethnic groups. Nearly 29% of 18 to 34 year old, Black male dropouts in Illinois were incarcerated in 2010. Incarceration rates of Black males fell sharply with their educational attainment, declining to under 8% for high school graduates and only 2% for Associate degree holders. Native-born Hispanic male dropouts (6.6%) in Illinois had a similar incarceration rate as native-born White male dropouts (6.5%). The annual costs of housing dropouts in jail or prison are quite substantial and contribute to the growing fiscal problems of state and local government. Spending time in jail or prison also has been found to reduce substantially the longer-term earnings potential of released inmates, making it difficult for them to find a job that will allow them to independently support themselves and their families.”

Here is the longer version of the study

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