Ten ZIP Codes Are at the Heart of Dallas' Astounding Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline

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In Dallas, geography is destiny.

That's the unavoidable conclusion from a recent study by Stand for Children, a Texas nonprofit, which crunched incarceration and college-preparedness rates in Dallas, ZIP code by ZIP code.

"It became immediately obvious that a small number of zip codes send a lot more inmates to prison than neighboring zip codes, including ones of similar demographic makeup," Mithcell Savage, executive director of Stand for Children's Dallas chapter, wrote in a blog post. "Just ten Dallas zip codes have sent more than 3,100 prisoners into Texas prisons, at an annual cost to the state of $137 million."

Those same zip codes, all but one in southern Dallas, also have some of the lowest college-ready graduation rates in the state. Out of 3,000 freshmen in the class of 2011, data compiled from the Texas Education Agency indicates that exactly 26 -- less than one percent -- were ready for college.

There's a phrase for this: the cradle-to-prison pipeline.

In its editorial this morning, the Morning News' includes a table showing the ZIP codes -- 75216; 75217; 75215; 75241; 75228; 75212; 75211; 75232; 75203; 75224 -- and the high schools they feed into.

The paper praises efforts by Superintendent MIke Miles to focus his reform efforts on the district's 22 feeder patterns, which, by looking at the entire elementary-to-high school pipeline, offers a better chance to intervene early in a child's educational career.

Adequately funding schools and ensuring they have solid teachers and administrators is a start, but it's not enough, which is what Stand for Children is getting at.

"It is very important to remember that because these cycles are so entrenched and long-standing, no single change can reverse these trends," Mitchell told the Morning News. "No educator, trustee, or administrator can stand alone to reverse the effects of cyclical poverty on education."

Schools, in other words, aren't the only answer. But they're not a bad place to start.


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40 comments
pgrove1704
pgrove1704

I grew up in one of the zip codes mentioned. And the problems are: Too Many Parents/Children that don't put forth the "Effort" to learn and grow into productive people. Also, the students that want to learn are bullied and harassed beyond belief until either they succumb to the wild masses or their parents are wise enough to move them to a better environment. The schools are fine the teachers are for the most part fine. It's not lack of funding. It's the people.

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

the problem with 75228 my hood was the staggering number of dirt poor folks right next to all those white rock rich folks...everyone I know that lives around there has been stolen from, everyone

David Indorf
David Indorf

This is old news to those who work in the county's Juvenile courts.

blowmetone
blowmetone

Perhaps we could require proof of tubal ligation to be eligible for WIC and other welfare programs. 

russell.allison1
russell.allison1

It looked like one person may have hit on what may be the biggest component of this and Larry Elder is on the scent too:  the culture of the absent father.  A few years back there was a study done that showed that well over 80% of inmates in prison in Texas were from single parent homes, specifically a home without a father.  Another study quoted in that same story on NPR pointed out that women raised in homes with an absentee father were divorced at a higher rate than those with a father in the home.  Not sure of an answer to that problem, other than for women to be a lot pickier about making babies with men that aren't worthy of fatherhood.  Is it that simple?

Tom434
Tom434

What's missing from this article is just what makes a high school student "college ready".  From this article I have no idea what college ready means.

roo_ster
roo_ster

Geography is not the major factor.

ChrisDangerShow
ChrisDangerShow

There's no easy answer to this issue. One that gets thrown around quite often, and I tend to agree with, is many of these kids are raised in a single parent home. Most of the time mom/dad are barely adults themselves and have been caught up in a vicious cycle of poverty and stupidity of a previous generation. Personally, i've always believed education has been the ticket out for many..

blowmetone
blowmetone

Eric, you should ride your bike down to 75215 and do some tutoring on the cradle to prison pipeline. I'm sure the locals will be quite interested and open to what you have to say. You can regale them on the benefits of cycling too. 

Phildaddy
Phildaddy

Yup...it must be the states fault for not throwing money at it. Wait...it may be the school district's fault or the teachers. No...it must be the media, TV, or video games.  

Those poor parents!  If we don't do something about this they might have to actually raise their own children.     (yeah right...they'll do that when they start paying for their own food and medical bills...)

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Gee, my childhood zip code is right there on the list.  I am less than shocked.  The funny thing is that since I was the White Devil to all the race hucksters who passed through siphoning all the money and ambition of out of the hood, I didn't get any of their "help" and was able to get out.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

Schools do not keep people out of prison. Families do. If you think the path is cradle to prison, start with the two people that that were there at the start, not an organization that joins the party 5 or 6 years after those people have worked their magic. Schools need to stop setting themselves up for failure by grabbing at any reason to get more money. I am sure if somebody started a meme that schools prevent asteroid impacts, we would quickly see a press release on the dangers of allowing less funded schools leaving us open to extraterrestrial attack.

drtz
drtz

And still the lowest forms of human civilization are not found in these zip codes as one might expect, but in the comments section of Unfair Park.

blowmetone
blowmetone

"Cradle to prison" pipeline sounds like just the sort of liberal utopia people like you dream of Eric. The state taking care of every whim and need!

whiteguiltlib
whiteguiltlib

Deaf Eric Nicholson, lately it seems like you aren't nearly as much of a naive white-guilt libtard as you used to be. What happened? Did those oppressed youfs of colour wake you up out of your "progressive advocacy journalist" fog when they shot you with their paintball gun as you rode through their vibrant neighborhood on your fixie? Celebrate Divershitty, Eric!

blowmetone
blowmetone

AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAAAA


SORRY LET ME CATCH MY BREATH



 AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAAAA 

DMZ3
DMZ3

@russell.allison1 A lot of these women were abused or abandoned by their fathers, so that it becomes a source of attraction in later life - they seek out abusive men who will treat them like their fathers did. It's not easy making better decisions about partners when you can't even form a healthy relationship.

So any solution should include getting getting these women to treatment for emotional/psychological/sexual abuse. But a lot of these women are uninsured and can't afford it, so...

alteredjustice
alteredjustice

@Tom434 It's determined by the TEA through issuing standardized tests. If they don't reach a certain standard, they need to finish remediation before going to college. That's my understanding.

blowmetone
blowmetone

@ChrisDangerShow Whenever one of these "cradle to prison" types shows up on the news you always see the grandmother being interviewed. Gushing about what a great child the little criminal was. Sometimes they get the teen mother. Rarely if ever is there a father. 

Almost always the grandmother. 

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

@blowmetone I live in 75215 and bike around it regularly.  Not sure what your point is.

It would be nice if The Observer ditched its anonymous comments system.  Cowards like you would soon be gone, leaving the discussion to people better educated than you..  But it doesn't appear that will be happening at any point, so carry on, Anonymous Internet Tough Guy.

blowmetone
blowmetone

Be sure to bring some organic food with you too. It's a food desert, you know. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

I went ahead and mapped out the 10 worst zip codes, since seeing a map is much, much more instructive than a list of essentially random numbers.

http://phelps.donotremove.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/10WorstDallas.png

With one exception, all south of 30.  (One straddles 30.) All in the county districts covered by Daniel, Price and Garcia (with the majority going to Price.)  All three are Democrats.  City counselmen are Davis, Caraway, Hill, Atkins, Griggs, and Jasso -- all Democrats.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@MikeWestEast Well, you'll never have the families as long as you have the welfare state not only subsidizing shattered families, but in fact encouraging them (by providing even more to families without fathers.)

retrogal
retrogal

@ MikeWestEast :Excellent  analysis of the circular progressive pitch for taxpayer dollars funding the educational "bridge to nowhere"

blowmetone
blowmetone

@drtz Yes because people you disagree with are clearly far worse than violent criminals. 

Go move to one of these zip codes, aside from the trendy 228, and then tell us who the lowlifes are.

retrogal
retrogal

@drtz  I recognize you and Eric in the file photo of "Top Blog Stories" above....

retrogal
retrogal

@whiteguiltlib Eric continues to be clueless about the ineffectiveness of govt. when personal or parental responsibility is not exercised.  He claims to be "astounded" about the "geography is destiny" in Dallas and claims that "schools are  not a bad place to start".  How about starting with the hands that rock the cradle?  Oh I forgot poor folks can't take care of themselves, govt. has to do it...How's that been working for us the past 60 years?  Eric picked out an astounding file photo of himself under "Top Blog Stories" about the dog poop shooting--Stay classy Eric!

blowmetone
blowmetone

@everlastingphelps 228 is Kadane. At least part of it is anyway. I went and spoke with him about the incessant trash in my yard from the dart bus stop in my front yard and the shopping center across the street.

The city's answer was to start leaving tickets for litter on my door. My answer was to move the fuck out of that slum. 

whiteguiltlib
whiteguiltlib

@GuitarPlayer that's ok because you are impotent & a child molester. Quit molesting kids you sick fuck! See how that works?

blowmetone
blowmetone

@retrogal @whiteguiltlib Claiming the reason is "poverty" is just another roundabout way for racebaiters and liberal whites to blame whitey. 

Surely it has nothing to do with living in a culture that extols ignorance, lack of education and a self indulgent violent lifestyle. All while completely lacking in any sort healthy family structure. 

No, none of that could be it because that would be an indictment of 30 years of social disintegration under the guise of liberal altruism. 

People don't become violent criminals because they are poor or because of the zip code they live in. It's the other way around. 

iwearblack
iwearblack

@blowmetone @iwearblack @drtz 
There's the Hillview neighborhood near Ferguson and St. Francis that is still OK, except that the surrounding areas tend to prey on it for burglaries and auto theft... Considering the proximity to Forest Hills, you think it would be more secure, but the stretch of apartments and the old Fox and Jacobs development off of John West and Buckner are pretty bad...

blowmetone
blowmetone

@iwearblack @blowmetone @drtz The trendy parts are probably still actually 218, but there has been some gentrification going on in pockets like Peavy/Garland Rd. 

North of Oates and West of Ferguson are still fairly nice, especially once you cross over Buckner but everything to the East of Ferguson is shit. 

blowmetone
blowmetone

@whiteguiltlib Guitarplayer is just mad because my comments get more likes while I continue to ignore him. He's a one trick pony as they say..

blowmetone
blowmetone

@DMZ3 This is why genocide is the solution. Donate to Planned Parenthood today!

DMZ3
DMZ3

@blowmetone I would think it's more of a vicious cycle. Drugs, alcohol, gangs and guns wreck the neighborhood. Kids who grow up in the wrecked neighborhood are surrounded - or being raised by - irresponsible adults who don't teach them anything. Is it the kids' fault that they were treated horribly and turned into horrible people because of it? But after a few years they're raising kids of their own and the cycle repeats itself.

Liberals have been unable, to say the least, to do anything about it. But the conservative solution seems to just lock everyone up in prison, breaking apart more families and entrenching the cycle even more.

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