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Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act - Essay Example

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The signing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996 replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent children (AFDC) program with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program…
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Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act
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Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act

The signing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996 replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent children (AFDC) program with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. TANF differs in some aspects from the AFDC. First, TANF gave states more authority to determine and design their own welfare programs. This helped to eliminate the entitlement status created by AFDC, as no one has direct right to benefit. Secondly, TANF introduced a limit of five years under which one was eligible to benefit from the program. This is a direct contrast from AFDC where recipients appeared trapped in a lifetime government aid. TANF also differs from AFDC as it introduced a work requirement on the beneficiary which lacked in AFDC lacked this aspect (Waldinger 13). In the American Dream, Deparle argues that the welfare reforms is of no help to women as they continued to struggle even after enrolment in to the program. The welfare program did not provide the necessary resources to move the families of the recipients from the poverty. Angie and Jewel got off the welfare to find jobs on their own as the jobs on their own was paying better than the welfare jobs. The welfare required Angie to work for long hours while getting minimum wages, which could not move her family from the poverty, this prompted Angie to find a private job and quit from the welfare. Opal on the other hand, continued with her self-defeating path, using split and having children out of wedlock. Opal remained a drug addict even after being under the welfare program. The three on the welfare program were working under minimum wage jobs that making it harder for them to move their families out of poverty. Despite the changes in the welfare, Angie says that she is still waiting for her dream day. The women were never provided with the necessary skills required in order for them to obtain a job in the private sector. Most of the women under the welfare program are school dropouts hence they lack the necessary education required in order for them to secure a job. Although the TANF tried to offer some training to the women under the program, it was not sufficient enough as some of them ended back to their former lifestyles. A good example of this is Opal who ended back to using drugs. Q2 The California three strikes law is a law designed to ensure longer prison sentences and greater punishments to those who commit an offense, and had been earlier convicted of serious or violent felony offences. The law does not only target the third strikers but also the second strikers. The law requires that if a person is convicted of a felony and has two or more strikes, he/she must be sentenced to at least 25 years or life in prison. The California three-strike law adds time to prison sentences leading to an increase to incarceration rate in the western countries. The 25 years or life imprisonment for second and third strikes offenses has led to a significant increase in the number of imprisonments in California and the US as general from 1970s. The other factors involved include, the law has led to incarceration of people with non-violent or non-serious third felonies therefore, increasing the number of prisoners in the US. This leads to wastage of taxpayers’ money in maintaining many old and harmless prisoners incarcerated in their third strike. The other involved factor is that the law has led to the creation of stereotypes that blacks are violent and criminals. This is due to the large number of blacks incarcerated by the third strike. Mass incarceration in California and in the US as well affects the intimate relations. Imprisonment of large numbers of males reduces the number of male partners existing in the neighborhood, therefore, putting women in a disadvantaged position in search for male partners. This has led to an increase in transmission of STDs in the society. Incarceration erodes the family ties of the victims. When a parent is ... Read More
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