Poverty in America
History- Mass
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Mass Incarceration
in the Age of
  A Drug Arrest Occurs In The U.S. Every 19.5 Minutes   1 Trillion ($1,000,000,000,000) Spent 45 Million ($45,000,000) Plus Arrested   There Are Over 2.2 Million People Currently Incarcerated In The United States, 900,000 Of Them Are African American   Since The Early 70's The Prison And Jail Population In The United States Has Increased At An Unprecedented Rate.   The More Than 500% Rise In The Number Of People Incarcerated In The Nation's Prisons and Jails Has Resulted In A Total Of 2.2 Million People Behind Bars.   The State Of California Has Been Ordered To Release Over 40,000 Prisoners   Because Of Inhumane Living Conditions Due To Prison Overcrowding   Low Level Non Violent Drug Offenders Make Up 60% Of Those Incarcerated   $60 Billion Taxpayer Dollars Spent Annually For Direct Incarceration Costs (Room & Board, Food, etc)   81 Billion Taxpayer Dollars Spent For Indirect Incarceration Costs (Foster Care, Welfare, Medicaid, etc)   Wall Street Investors Profit Millions Based On How Many Bodies Are Squeezed Into Prison Cells   During The 1990's The State Of Texas Built 1 University And 77 Prisons   Many Major American Corporations Use Contracted Prison Labor To Avoid Paying Taxes   It Costs Approximately $450,000 To Incarcerate One Drug Dealer Including Conviction plus Room & Board (Schaffer Library Of Drug Policy)   Between 1985 And 1995 Over 80% Of The Increase Of The Federal Prison Population Was Due To Drug Convictions   In The Last Decade The Punitive And Over Zealous Tools And The Approach Of The Modern Criminal Justice System Have Seeped Into Our Schools, Serving To Remove Our Children From Mainstream Educational Environments And Funnel Them Into A One Way Path Towards Prison   10.5 Million Americans Are Working Poor, Meaning That They Spent At Least Half The Year In The Labor Force But Their Incomes Were Still Below The Poverty Line   15 Percent Of Americans (One In Six) Fell Below The Official Poverty Line In 2010, Defined As A Family Of Four With Income Below $22,314   Children Who Grow Up In Poor Families Are More Likely To Continue The Cycle Of Poverty As Adults, Compared To Children From Upper-Income Families, Undermining The American Dream   High Rates Of Poverty Hurt Everyone In The United States Because It Strips Limited Resources From The Government That Could Be Invested In Other Areas To Promote Economic Growth   Child Poverty Alone Is Estimated To Cost The U.S. Economy More Than $500 Billion Annually In Lost Productivity, Increased Health Care Costs And Higher Criminal-Justice Expenditures   Poverty Dramatically Harms Long Term Human Capital Development, A Critical Component In Our Nation's Global Economic Competitiveness   Children Who Grow Up In Poverty Under Perform In School, Have Limited Access To Higher Education And Are Less Likely To Be Prepared For The High-Skilled Jobs Of The Future


Primary Group was created as a research and information 501 c (3) nonprofit corporation in 2006. Over the last 11 years our research has explored the root cause of the mass destruction being experienced in urban and rural communities across this country.

As grassroots movement committed to ending economic and social injustice specifically for those affected by mass incarceration, recidivism, income inequality and poverty. Our primary mission is to educate and inform the public of the underlying cause of the current social and economic state of these at risk communities. Producing an economic impact in whole communities by creating large scale livable wage employment while building sustainable small business infrastructure at the local level. Utilizing micro financial strategies to leverage the economic power of individuals, businesses, organizations and pre-established social and civic networks in those communities. Primary Group, Inc's social enterprise initiatives are powered by the TME-System Job Creation Ecosystem.

Ripple Effect

The social and economic ripple effect is caused by many factors related to “The War on Drugs”.

This 40 year old war has costs upwards of 1 trillion taxpayer dollars and has consistently created genocidal conditions in at risk communities across this country.

Finding A Way Out

In 2013, 6.5% of all Americans have a felony conviction. According to the Center For American Progress, there are 46.2 million Americans living in poverty as of 2010.

"To even begin to make an attempt at correcting this problem, it's important that we grow the country's number of low-skill jobs, so that those currently living in poverty can begin to find a way out. . ."

Educating The Public

To effectively attack this national social and economic tragedy, one must fully understand the root cause of how this crisis was created and why.

Educating the public about the magnitude of negative consequences that continue to decimate urban and rural communities is why we exist.

Strength of Community

The first step is to create a community based infrastructure of support in urban and rural communities across the country. By partnering with private enterprise to help create jobs and social enterprise as a mass support level, pathways of opportunity can be provided that utilize the strength of the community and the power of business.

Primary Group Inc. continues to research and develop innovative solution based projects to insure that services to individuals and their families consistently address issues pertinent and germane to their success. Our (4) main areas of focus are:

Vicious Cycle

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has chronicled in devastating detail how poverty creates prisoners and prisons in turn fuel poverty.

Not just for individuals, but for entire demographic groups.

Black unemployment in East St. Louis:

Poverty In American:

Participatory Value

As a proud and participating member of the 3 D Economic Development Consortium, Primary Group strives to educate the community at large of the importance of their Participatory Value and individual responsibility within their community.

Engaging the community to move toward self- reliance is one of our primary directives. Primary Group understands and embraces the tenets of long term sustainability and effective community participation.

Now positioned to move into direct services, the organization has been collaborating with both nonprofit and for-profit companies to help design a sustainable community based blueprint to address the devastating effects of poverty and mass incarceration in America and around the world.

  Economic Development
     Job Creation

Providing opportunities for training and employment is essential to the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals. As many as 60% of formerly incarcerated individuals are still unemployed one year after release. Economic Development programs that offer training and employment for both skilled and unskilled labor jobs with potential for growth and advancement are needed.

  Legal Service

Recommendations by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association states, that no more than 400 misdemeanor cases a year, 150 felony or 200 juvenile cases be opened per year per public defender. Most are operating at 2-3 times that limit. Public defenders are so overwhelmed with their growing caseloads, in many cases a defendant may get 15 minutes...

  Human Services

Without proper supportive human service including counseling, mentoring and life skills training, individuals recently released are at a greater risk for involvement in negative behaviors including child abuse, family violence, the spread of infectious diseases, homelessness and community disorganization (U.S. Justice Department Study)...


Thousands of formerly incarcerated individuals are released into the community each year. A lack of adequate housing directly contributes to homelessness, unemployment and a host of other problems. The question of where they will live has lasting consequences for communities and society...