Local courts reviving 'debtors' prison' for overdue fines, fees
As if out of a Charles Dickens novel, people struggling to pay overdue fines and fees associated with court costs for even the simplest traffic infractions are being thrown in jail across the United States.
Critics are calling the practice the new "debtors' prison" -- referring to the jails that flourished in the U.S. and Western Europe over 150 years ago. Before the time of bankruptcy laws and social safety nets, poor folks and ruined business owners were locked up until their debts were paid off.
Reforms eventually outlawed the practice. But groups like the Brennan Center for Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union say it's been reborn in local courts which may not be aware it's against the law to send indigent people to jail over unpaid fines and fees -- or they just haven't been called on it until now....
Jim Lincoln wrote: No wonder Dicken's "Christmas Carol" isn't popular in GOP states. Bah, humbug! mobile.nytimes.Ending for One Million Unemployed ---
From Jim's link:
"At one point, Mr. Davis, 68, made more than $100,000 a year as an information technology expert and web designer. He is now living on ramen noodles and $140 he counted out from his change jar. Since being laid off over the summer, he has missed mortgage payments, forcing him to take out a reverse mortgage on his home. He sold his car and got a late-1990s model Ford Taurus, and is looking to cut his utility and cellphone bills. Soon, he might start taking Social Security"
Aww, poor guy. Even with a 6 digit income, he never was able to save a dime, and had to go on unemployment. Now he's living on ramen noodles, and you, Jim, feel so sorry for him, and that darn old GOP somehow is keeping him from getting more unemployment funds paid for by folks who won't ever see his level of income. Soon, it says, he might start taking Social Security. He's been eligible for 2 to 6 years already, but unemployment benefits obviously work better for his, uh, neediness. I agree on one point in your post, for a different reason. Bah humbug.