Ferguson Sued for Running Debtors’ Prison

Federal lawsuit alleges that jailing poor for inability to pay fines amounts to debtors’ prison. It is important to remember that long before the shooting of Michael Brown, various reporters had noticed the re-emergence of what is basically debtors’ prison. I posted about the “re-invention” of debtors’ prisons back in December 2013.  There was nothing noticeably “racial” about the story initially because the real issue was not one’s race but one’s income level. When the Read more […]

Debtor’s Prison for a Child’s Truancy Ends with Mother’s Death

Back in December of last year I posted about the re-invention of “debtor’s prison.” I noted it was often happening in response to fines that people were unable to pay. So it has happened again and the accused ended up paying all she had. She died. A Pennsylvania mother of seven died in a jail cell where she was serving a two-day sentence for her children’s absence from school, drawing complaints from the judge that sent her there about a broken system that punishes impoverished parents. Eileen Read more […]

Totally Wrong Christmas Story: Re-Invention Of Debtors Prison

People should pay their debts. There are two types of people who don’t pay their debts: 1. People who have the money and don’t want to pay what they owe; 2. People who don’t have the money to pay whether they want to or not. People of type 1 are not really a problem if you have a law enforcement system that can take the money. The traditional way creditors avoid getting stuck with people of type 2 is by only lending to people with collateral. That way it is a simple matter: if they don’t Read more […]