Brute Reason

A collection of thoughts about psychology, social justice, and anything else I give a shit about. freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason

Topics: feminism / psychology / lgbtq / sex / politics / abortion / health / mental illness / language / depression / sexism / sexual assault / fashion / racism / education / social justice

my actual writing, if you're curious

Last fall, I read this story in the local paper: “Poor school attendance leads to charges against parent.” That story, too, features a mugshot of a black mother, looking grieved. Because of her son’s truancy—he had 19 unexcused absences and was tardy 30 times during the school year—Moina Lucious was arrested, charged with a felony count of neglect, and faced six month to three years in prison.

There were no details in the story about what may have been happening in this family’s life that was contributing to the truancy. (I will also note that excused absences cost money; if your kid is sick, and you can’t afford to take hir to the doctor, your kid might stay sick for longer, and you also don’t have a doctor’s note to provide to the school.) Naturally, we’re meant to assume that Lucious is just a Terrible Mother, but I can imagine about 2,000 reasons why this could have been happening when support from her community might have solved the problem.

In a way that sending her to prison never will.

What if all the taxpayer money that’s used arresting, processing, probably public defending, possibly trying, and maybe jailing women like Taylor and Lucious were instead used toward social programs that would have supported them in the first place?

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