Report: Debtor Prisons on the Rise

Democracy Now!
Oct. 5, 2010

New reports by the ACLU and the Brennan Center for Justice have found a sharp rise in debtor prisons across the country. Poor defendants are being jailed for failing to pay legal debts. In Ohio, a man named Howard Webb, who earns $7 an hour as a dishwasher, has served two stints in jail totaling over 300 days for being unable to pay nearly $3,000 in fines and costs from various criminal and traffic cases. In Michigan, a twenty-five-year-old single mother named Kawana Young has been jailed five times for being unable to afford to pay a few minor traffic tickets. Eric Balaban of the ACLU said, “Incarcerating people simply because they cannot afford to pay their legal debts is not only unconstitutional but also has a devastating impact upon men and women, whose only crime is that they are poor.”


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7 thoughts on “Report: Debtor Prisons on the Rise

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  7. The United States of America where all the rich are created equal, and you are Free to do What You Are Told!

    The country has lost what little humanity it ever had. The questions need to be how ,and more importantly, why ,this happened.

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