//Thousands of Americans are being sent to modern-day debtors’ prisons every month
Thousands of Americans are being sent to modern-day debtors’ prisons every month

 

 

 by: J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) There is a saying that goes, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Seems that’s true for people who owe money.

Once upon a time in Western Europe, circa the 19th century, debtors’ prisons were a common phenomenon. And they were exactly what they sound like: Prisons for people who were unable to pay their debts. People who were destitute or simply had fallen on hard times and were unable to repay court-ordered judgments were “sentenced” to these prisons. They remained there until they were able to either work off what they owed or secure funding from another source.

Now, in 21st century America, debtors’ prisons are making a comeback.

According to a new report from Human Rights Watch called Profiting from Probation, more than 1,000 courts around the country “delegate tremendous coercive power to companies that are often subject to little meaningful oversight or regulation.”

Further, a summary of the report states:

In many cases, the only reason people are put on probation is because they need time to pay off fines and court costs linked to minor crimes. In some of these cases, probation companies act more like abusive debt collectors than probation officers, charging the debtors for their services.

Often, the group says, the poorest Americans wind up having to pay the most in fees over time, in what amounts to a discriminatory penalty. When they fail to pay, companies then can, and do, ensure that they are arrested.

So, while such incarceration is not actually called “debtors’ prison,” the result is the same.

Forced to skip meals

In particular, notes the ACLU, which is taking up the cause of ending such incarcerations:

Human Rights Watch tells the story of Thomas Barrett in Georgia. Unemployed and living off food stamps, Barrett was out on probation and ordered to pay a $200 fine for stealing a $2 can of beer from a convenience store. On top of that, Sentinel Offender Services, LLC, the company administering Barrett’s probation, charged him $360 per month in supervision and monitoring fees despite the fact that Barrett’s only source of income was money earned by selling his blood plasma.

Barrett was forced to skip meals in order to pay Sentinel. Nevertheless, he still fell behind in payments and at one point wound up owing the company $1,000 in fees — or five times more than the $200 fine that a court had imposed.

In a bid to collect the debt, Sentinel then petitioned a court to revoke Barrett’s probation, which it did. He was then jailed.

At no point did Sentinel or the court take into account Barrett’s inability to earn enough money to pay, the ACLU noted, “the latter, a clear violation of the law.”

“Imprisoning someone because she cannot afford to pay court-imposed fines or fees violates the 14th Amendment,” says the ACLU.

To read the rest of the story, please click here.

 

By | 2016-10-03T14:55:25+00:00 February 6th, 2015|United States|6 Comments

About the Author:

6 Comments

  1. messenger February 6, 2015 at 4:21 am

    Had Thomas not stolen the beer then his sorry [email protected]@ wouldn’t be in jail, would he? Something new under the sun, would be for bleeding hearts to quit worrying about the worthless scum that commit these crimes against tax paying businesses and individuals and start considering just how much is lost to shoplifters in this country each and every day. Surely there are medical experiments that could be used on these people to test drugs and other lab associated projects that could and would be beneficial to society as a whole. Could we please entertain that thought for a moment instead of feeling sorry for this piece of trash. Thanks

  2. […] via Thousands of Americans are being sent to modern-day debtors’ prisons every month | Dave Hodges –…. […]

  3. notjam February 6, 2015 at 8:57 am

    The Jesuit Order is retuning the world to the Dark Ages ruled by the Papal/Cesar/Antichrist aka “Vicor of Christ”.

  4. eddiemd February 6, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Debtors prison has been around for deadbeat parents for decades. Nothing new.

    The family law/court racket has been violating the Constitution and nobody cares. The system is designed to destroy families and rob parents under the color of law. Judges, state attorneys, private attorneys all profit from the destruction of the family.

    Money buys favor.

  5. toejam February 6, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    “Barrett was forced to skip meals in order to pay Sentinel. Nevertheless, he still fell behind in payments and at one point wound up owing the company $1,000 in fees — or five times more than the $200 fine that a court had imposed In a bid to collect the debt, Sentinel then petitioned a court to revoke Barrett’s probation, which it did. He was then jailed.”

    Such a deal. Those geniuses at Sentinel get the court to send this petty, low IQ, thief to jail where he can get free meals and medical.
    If he gets more than a year he can work for the prison industries at say 20 cents per hour and working 24/7 every single day can earn enough in two years to pay his $1,000 “debt. It’s a win, win deal for everyone especially the prison industry.

    Judging from the hands in the above photo there must be some pretty fine manicurists in that lockup.

  6. CT February 7, 2015 at 8:00 am

    That’s a lot of taxpayer money that’s going to the prison corporation to house this guy over a $2 beer. Also, young men 18-25 are being locked up for petty offenses that the cops used to just give a lecture for and let go. Now it is a business to get as many people in the jails as possible to do slave labor. The label,”Made in America,” takes on a new perspective for me.

Comments are closed.