Survey Finds Low ‘Financial Literacy’ in Arkansas Inmates


A survey of prison inmates by researchers at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock found them lacking in basic “financial literacy,” reports the Arkansas Times. The survey showed a widespread lack of knowledge about banking, finance and predatory lending among inmates. Researchers said the results could lay the groundwork for a new approach against recidivism: teaching inmates how to hold on to their money so they don’t get desperate enough to return to crime.

Among other things, the survey found: 27 percent of inmates surveyed had never opened a checking account; 56.2 percent had never had a credit card; just 32.8 percent of white inmates and 16.9 percent of non-white inmates had owned a home; 22.5 percent had used a payday loan, double the rate of non-incarcerated Arkansas men; 75.4 percent had pawned an item, more than triple the rate of the non-incarcerated; and 45.1 percent of inmates had bought something from a “rent-to-own” store, four times the rate of non-incarcerated people.

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