Cash-Strapped States Resurrect "Debtors' Prisons"


rita's picture

It's a well-known fact that people who rely on the services of a court-appointed "defense" attorney are more likely to go to prison than those who can cough up 5-10,000 dollars for a real lawyer. And people who are unable to post bond are forced to appear in court in jail uniforms, handcuffed and shackled, which also tends to increase the severity of the punishment handed down by "honorable" judges.

Failure to pay restitution, failure to pay fines, failure to pay probation fees, failure to report in person to a probation office that may be up to 50 miles away, being homeless or unemployed can all be considered violation of probation, which is a prisonable offense, regardless of the pettiness of the original crime. And the more they punish, the more they control, the poorer we get. A lot of people I know have voluntarily gone to prison just to get "off paper" and out from under all this crap.

It's a pretty sad commentary on America when prison is the only road to freedom.