I’m working on a next of kin case for a man who died while incarcerated. He’s been dead since 2001 and nobody has located his next of kin. I wonder how long he’d been incarcerated without contact from someone who cared? I imagine he was discarded before he went to prison. I’d bet he grew up in poverty or in foster care. Early and/or chronic poverty or disrupted relationships adversely impacts brain development. It impedes positive and prosocial experiences. The individual’s intellectual and emotional development is forever impacted and depending on their resilience, genetic predispositon, and environment they may have far less free will than we like to imagine. If we can say they made a choice, we can discard them more easily. We don’t have to worry about what happens to those we consider the least worthy in our communities.
Discarding the Poor – from 9/4/15
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