Shanesha Taylor lives in Scottsdale, AZ, just north of Phoenix. She has been in jail for more than a week. Why? Because she left her 2 sons, ages 6 mo. and 2 years, inside her car while she went on a job interview.
America sure does love punishing people instead of solving problems. Think of all of the problems that could have been solved here, that might have helped prevent this situation: 1) the lack of free child care for children under kindergarten age; 2) the rampant joblessness across the country, especially among people of color, which is exacerbated by employment discrimination, outsourcing, and a total lack of corporate accountability; 3) the lack of stability, flexibility, benefits, and a living wage in many jobs, which keep families like Taylor’s from having any savings that might keep them from being homeless if she loses her job; 4) cutting SNAP and “reforming” welfare so that we still have homeless mothers with young children who are this desperate for a paycheck; 5) the choice to criminalize homelessness and homeless people; and 6) myriad others. But, instead of devoting resources to solving any of these problems, Arizona just criminalized child abuse and started locking people up, and called it a day.
What is the point of putting this woman in jail? To show people like her, who are homeless and desperate to get a job, that they better be able to afford childcare somehow, or else they can go to jail? Seems like desperately poor people already know that they don’t have a lot of options.
Sign the petition to free Shanesha Taylor here.
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