Home Pop Culture Watch out! Debtors prison is making a comeback.

Watch out! Debtors prison is making a comeback.

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Debtors prison

The US Supreme court has told that imprisoning an individual because they can not pay back a debt is unconstitutional but that isn’t stopping some judges from jailing people who can’t pay their court fines.

The practice of jailing debtors has long been abolished since the 1830’s but more than a third of states now allow the jailing of individuals who cannot or wont pay their debts.

The Brennan Center for Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union have been noting the proliferation of new debtors’ prisons in states like Missouri, Louisiana, Georgia, Michigan, Washington, Ohio and Colorado.

Human rights advocates claim that the system disproportionately victimizes poor people while draining government resources in the process.

‘It’s a waste of taxpayer resources, and it undermines the integrity of the justice system,’ Carl Takei, staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Prison Project, told FoxNews.com.

The U.S. Supreme Court has addressed the issue on three separate occasions in the 70s and 80s, ruling that courts are not allowed to jail someone for unpaid debts if the person is indigent.

People who agree with the programs reason that it part of the government’s right and duty to collect the “required fees and court costs.” They reason that problems caused by the debtors could affect law-abiding taxpayers.

To make things even more complicated, some jurisdictions rely on the services of private contractors tasked with going after debtors – and these for-profit collection agencies impose their own surcharges on top of the court fees. The practice has often been compared to that of extortion practices.

Critics say that the punishment can be highly counterproductive because it is generally more difficult to hold onto or find a job after serving time in jail.

Studies also show that the sum often collected versus the cost of incarcerating debtors to not offer an advantage.

Many have gone on to wonder why the practice is being allowed to flourish and why individuals down on their luck with little recourse are being exposed to such harsh illegal mandates. A manifestation which one could argue reflects the pervasive vilification of the poor in society and the constant celebration of the well to do.

above image found here

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  • Vassago Gamori

    “There is a time when the operation of the machine
    becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart,
    that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part,
    and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels,
    upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop.
    And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it,
    that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”

  • Steve

    I agree with your story, but be careful as to the SOURCING! Fox is the laughing stock of the world and subject of every intelligent comedian. To not drop to their level of unbelievability also,,I’d recommend you verify every source

    Every KNOWLEDGEABLE person knows he (CEO Roger Ailes) classified FOX as “entertainment”rather than news, thus protected it under the free-speech amendment in a public court case.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Akre

    After a five-week trial and six hours of deliberation which ended August 18, 2000, a Florida state court jury unanimously determined that FOX “acted intentionally and deliberately to falsify or distort the plaintiffs’ news reporting on BGH.” In that decision, the jury also found that Jane’s threat to blow the whistle on FOX ‘s misconduct to the FCC was the sole reason for the termination… and the jury awarded $425,000 in damages http://www.foxbghsuit.com/home.htm#FOX

    Last September, when Politifact compiled their list of which TV
    station lies the most vs. who tells the truth the most, one shouldn’t
    be shocked to see Fox News took the cake for most lies with 58
    percent of statements being made being rated “Mostly False,”
    “False.” or “Pants on Fire.”
    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/01/27/politifact-updates-data-on-news-sources-finds-fox-news-lies-even-more-than-before/

    For court record details check out:
    http://foxnewsboycott.com/resources/fox-can-lie-lawsuit/

    They have kept sheople ignorant that Global Warming is real. It is CLEAR that FOX is the Orwellian BIG PROPAGANDA SCREEN as well as the fulfillment of his “Ignorance is Strength” slogan.

    For these and 300 other parallels between Orwell’s Big Brother and the US, join us at:https://www.facebook.com/groups/Big.Brother.is.Watching/

    ,,,