Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

As economy flails, debtors' prisons thrive
CBS News' Money Watch ^ | April 4, 2013 | Alain Sherter

Posted on 04/04/2013 6:47:18 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Thousands of Americans are sent to jail not for committing a crime, but because they can't afford to pay for traffic tickets, medical bills and court fees.

If that sounds like a debtors' prison, a legal relic which was abolished in this country in the 1830s, that's because it is. And courts and judges in states across the land are violating the Constitution by incarcerating people for being unable to pay such debts.

Ask Jack Dawley, 55, an unemployed man in Ohio who between 2007 and 2012 spent a total of 16 days in jail in a Huron County lock-up for failing to pay roughly $1,500 in legal fines he'd incurred in the 1990s. The fines stemmed from Dawley's convictions for driving under the influence and other offenses. After his release from a Wisconsin correctional facility, Dawley, who admits he had struggled with drugs and alcohol, got clean. But if he put his substance problems behind him, Dawley's couldn't outrun his debts.

Struggling to find a job and dealing with the effects of a back injury, he fell behind on repayments to the municipal court in Norwalk, Ohio. He was arrested six years ago and sent to jail for not paying his original court fines. Although Dawley was put on a monthly payment plan, during his latest stint behind bars in 2012 the court ordered him to pay off his entire remaining debt.

" I called my brother, and they told him I have to pay off the whole fine in order for me to get out," he said. "That was $900. So I sat my whole 10 days [in jail.]"

Such stories are by no means unusual. Rather, they reflect a justice system that in effect criminalizes poverty....

(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: debt; debtorsprison; debts; economy; handsanitizer; obamaville; ohio; personaldebt; povertycrime
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-55 next last
Which is why Legal Shield and its competitors were formed.
1 posted on 04/04/2013 6:47:18 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
If someone lends you money... and you refuse to pay it back... that is theft! and you deserve to go to prison.
2 posted on 04/04/2013 6:57:26 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Don’t forget child support if you are a man.
Women seldom serve a day when they don’t pay.


3 posted on 04/04/2013 7:01:15 PM PDT by Venturer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009
If someone lends you money... and you refuse to pay it back... that is theft! and you deserve to go to prison.

If someone lends you money, it is only a civil matter, not criminal. There can be a lein placed on personal and real property, but there are limits for personal exemptions to allow the party to still eat and keep his family together. Incarceration does not solve the insolvency.

This article, if you bothered to read through is about the G'umt putting you in jail for not paying their fines, fees, and re-distributive costs.

There are laws against this, as the article states, but reading isn't your specialty, I guess!

4 posted on 04/04/2013 7:03:21 PM PDT by WVKayaker ("...once a bell is rung by a biased media, it’s impossible to un-ring it."-Sarah Palin 11/7/12)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009

lien, not leon...


5 posted on 04/04/2013 7:03:52 PM PDT by WVKayaker ("...once a bell is rung by a biased media, it’s impossible to un-ring it."-Sarah Palin 11/7/12)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: WVKayaker

It’s not about refusal to pay either.


6 posted on 04/04/2013 7:07:34 PM PDT by Olog-hai
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

More flouting of the law by the courts. That’s anarchy. It will not end well at all.


7 posted on 04/04/2013 7:08:05 PM PDT by Olog-hai
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WVKayaker
I did read the article.

I just personally feel that refusing to pay back a loan is left and should be treated as such.

If I lend someone $1,000 bucks and they refuse to pay it back, to me that's no different than if they broke into my home and stole $1,000 worth of property. And regardless of what the article says or what the law is, I think it should be treated as theft!

And I don't care one wit about whether they can't pay the debt back if they are in prison! that's not the point, the point is punishment. No one ever says burglars shouldn't be put in prison because they can't then pay back the money stolen.

8 posted on 04/04/2013 7:09:39 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Venturer

I know a woman who has been jailed several times for failing to pay her child support. It does happen.


9 posted on 04/04/2013 7:14:35 PM PDT by ilovesarah2012
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Venturer

I know a woman who has been jailed several times for failing to pay her child support. It does happen.


10 posted on 04/04/2013 7:14:35 PM PDT by ilovesarah2012
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
Rather, they reflect a justice system that in effect criminalizes poverty.

No, it's a legal system that criminalizes crime. He found plenty of money to buy alcohol, but couldn't find any to pay for his crime.

11 posted on 04/04/2013 7:15:41 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009

Brainiac ,

My brother-in-law was pulled over in a traffic stop 6 months ago ,, equipment violation ,, he was working as a lab courier ,, he had just applied hand sanitizer (alcohol based) before the stop (he handles lots of NASTY stuff) ,, the cop smelled the alcohol , did a field sobriety test (passed) , handcuffed him , wrote a ticket for DUI ANYWAY!! , my brother-in-law asked to call his employer otherwise HUNDREDS of patients would be inconvenienced while their blood samples rotted in a locked car ... COP made the call for him ,, told employer that HE WAS DRUNK OR ON DRUGS ,,, he lost his job immediately ,, Cop gave him a choice ,, go to the hospital for a drug/alcohol screen (hospital he just picked up specimens at) by ambulance , handcuffed to bed ,, or go immediately to jail ...

He did nothing wrong , no alcohol , no drugs , just a burned out light bulb , lost his job (had no money anyway) , passed all the tests with perfect 00.00% results , the police refused to pay for the drug tests or the ambulance ride , they dropped the DUI ticket/charge and they refuse to cover the testing or ambulance ...

Should my brother-in-law go to jail? He certainly cannot pay several THOUSAND dollars.


12 posted on 04/04/2013 7:24:10 PM PDT by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

The article states that poor people shouldn’t be charged fines and fee. I feel for people that are poor but if they only charge fines for people that have money, how is that justice? Some Europeon countries charge traffic fee accordingly to ability to pay. That is not justice, that is socialism.


13 posted on 04/04/2013 7:24:50 PM PDT by Rusty0604
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PAR35

Where did you see that in the article?


14 posted on 04/04/2013 7:26:29 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I'll raise $2million for Sarah Palin's presidential run. What'll you do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Our criminal system is now geared towards providing revenue for the local government and does nothing to rehabilitate criminals.

It’s all about the money.


15 posted on 04/04/2013 7:27:52 PM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Neidermeyer

Has he talked to a lawyer? Seems like he might win based on your version of the events.


16 posted on 04/04/2013 7:30:43 PM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Neidermeyer

Your brother-in-law needs an attorney...


17 posted on 04/04/2013 7:37:59 PM PDT by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009

“If I lend someone $1,000 bucks”

Then you’re asking for trouble. Don’t do it.


18 posted on 04/04/2013 7:39:18 PM PDT by ScottfromNJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Rusty0604

“Some Europeon(sic) countries charge traffic fee accordingly to ability to pay. That is not justice, that is socialism.”

I’m not so sure about this. I don’t have a problem at all with inside stock traders coughing up tens of millions of dollars...and isn’t the point of the fine to punish? How much of a punishment is it to fine someone worth 50 million dollars $100?


19 posted on 04/04/2013 7:41:54 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ScottfromNJ

“If I lend someone $1,000 bucks

Then you’re asking for trouble. Don’t do it.”

If you lend someone $20, and you never see them again, it was probably worth it.


20 posted on 04/04/2013 7:42:53 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009
And I don't care one wit about whether they can't pay the debt back if they are in prison!

IOW, you have not read the article. This is NOT A LOAN. It is a time payment schedule produced by a COURT to get their fines paid. The court placed a fine, not loaned him any money.

To you, it is obvious that it is a just debt. Tell that to the judge when he fines you $10,000 for owning a gun! Tell it to the judge when you are pulled for driving too fast in a school zone, and just lost YOUR income... and cannot pay the fines and fees. I got a speeding ticket last year for driving 12 mph over the speed limit. The fine was only $25. The court fees added another $185!!!

Also, a lien is placed after a COURT adjudicates any debt, and when it is confirmed and just, a chattel is placed upon the real and personal property of the debtor. When the debt is still not paid, there is a process to transfer the property in a legal manner. But, it is stupid to think that putting somebody into jail, at the expense of others, is a proper resolution.

It seems you are just all about retribution, and have no sympathy for those who fall by the way. I feel differently.

As a Christian, I have paid for others debts, and I have also helped to improve the lives of the unfortunate. Jesus paid the ultimate price for a debt I cannot repay. Sorry, you don't apparently don't know Him! The attitude presented in your posts is anything but Christian. I will add you to my prayer list!

21 posted on 04/04/2013 7:43:46 PM PDT by WVKayaker ("...once a bell is rung by a biased media, it’s impossible to un-ring it."-Sarah Palin 11/7/12)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: TheBattman

Your brother-in-law needs an attorney...
*************************************
I agree ,, but he’s stupid ... he’s happy to collect unemployment and tell the bill collectors from the hospital to get lost.. It’d be a hard case to win ,, the cops did drop the charges , the phone call would be a cop (lying) against 2 harmed parties (employer harmed by cost of finding/training new employee) ,, court would go with the cop. He DID smell of alcohol from the sanitizer which would be difficult also...

My point was simply that through absolutely no fault of your own you can EASILY find yourself in a huge mess... Quite simply he’s gone Galt and I don’t blame him one bit.


22 posted on 04/04/2013 7:54:15 PM PDT by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: WVKayaker

Amen!!!


23 posted on 04/04/2013 7:55:36 PM PDT by Toad of Toad Hall
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: The Antiyuppie

Traffic tickets is what they charge different rates for. Different rates for speeding or running a red light is not fair in my view.


24 posted on 04/04/2013 7:55:37 PM PDT by Rusty0604
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
We could go back to the day's of Little Dorrit


25 posted on 04/04/2013 7:56:40 PM PDT by BBell (And Now for Something Completely Different)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rusty0604

hehe

My brother, many years ago when a young single guy, noticed that speeding tickets were much cheaper than speeding tickets, so his modus operandi became running stop signs and lights when in a hurry, but was careful about speed!


26 posted on 04/04/2013 8:01:37 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Rusty0604

Are you sure the European approach to fines — scaling them to income or assets — really constitutes socialism, rather than justice?

It does not involve the state owning or otherwise controlling economic production, no businesses have been nationalized, and fines do not generally contribute significantly to income redistribution schemes.

Do you really think it just that when a person earning minimum wage is hit with a $1000 fine for, say disorderly conduct, plus court costs of $200, it deprives him of about a month’s before tax income, while someone who making in the six figures can do exactly the same thing and regard the fine and court-costs as a mere nuisance, and someone making in the mid-eight figures (think rock stars or professional athletes) could pay the fine with pocket change? Is it just that the rich rowdy can behave with more-or-less impunity, while the poor rowdy may go hungry or be thrown out of his home, or be imprisoned for choosing to eat and pay rent rather than pay the fine and court costs?


27 posted on 04/04/2013 8:02:51 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

????

Its sounds like he didn’t pay fines for stuff he was convicted of, and guilty too. I miss the point.

Nothing in the story says he was jailed for failing to pay his ‘bills’


28 posted on 04/04/2013 8:07:22 PM PDT by sickoflibs (To GOP : Any path to US citizenship IS putting them ahead in line. Stop lying about your position.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Documentation File on the negative impact of the Obamanation Counterculture on America.


29 posted on 04/04/2013 8:07:50 PM PDT by Graewoulf (Traitor John Roberts' Commune-Style Obama'care' violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jjotto

I don’t get it.


30 posted on 04/04/2013 8:08:37 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: The_Reader_David

I don’t think jail is appropriate but the same punishment for the exact same crime is justice in my opinion. If you are talking about destruction of property, then damages would be assessed on the property value, as I believe it is now. If there is no justice, what is to stop poor people from disobeying all traffic laws and destroying property as in your example if they know they won’t be charged a fine because they have no money?


31 posted on 04/04/2013 8:11:16 PM PDT by Rusty0604
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Neidermeyer

That’s a horrible story. It seems that he could sue the police dept.


32 posted on 04/04/2013 8:20:10 PM PDT by Rusty0604
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

The stupidity is that it cost the government (taxpayers) a lot more than what he owed.

I would have had him pick up trash.


33 posted on 04/04/2013 8:22:57 PM PDT by tiki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009

Having been on the wrong end of the non repay back of loans equations a few times, I tend to be on your side.


34 posted on 04/04/2013 9:06:32 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

How’s the policy to beat deadbeat dads going for y’all? ;-)


35 posted on 04/04/2013 9:17:55 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009; 2ndDivisionVet

See involuntary servitude, threat to compel to work, Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241 – Conspiracy Against Rights, Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242 – Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law (”alien,” etc.), Fourteenth Amendment (equal protection), cases,...

Amendment XIII
Section 1.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


36 posted on 04/04/2013 9:57:29 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Neidermeyer

America 2013 is a fascist police state.


37 posted on 04/04/2013 10:44:22 PM PDT by karnage
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009
And what happens if you CANNOT pay it back? Prison? Ok, so in that case you cannot earn the money to pay back, so you get even deeper into the mire.

Sure people need to pay for their mistakes - the example is a guy who did a bit of drink driving and was rightly punished for it - but does he deserve to be still paying? How long does and should a punishment last?

38 posted on 04/05/2013 12:45:14 AM PDT by Vanders9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Rusty0604
Hmm. Interesting. Is it justice?

For sure there are laws for the common good and there should be penalties for infraction of them. But hold on, should not the punishment also fit the crime? A $100 fine would be a significant pain for me, and probably quite a lot of people, but a millionaire doesnt care about something like that - so how is that a punishment to them? How can it possibly even be a deterrent? And if its not a deterrent then the rich person could just keep on doing the infraction over and over again. They become, effectively, above the law. And that can't be right.

39 posted on 04/05/2013 12:54:47 AM PDT by Vanders9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Rusty0604

Maybe the answer is not to fine people the same flat fee, but the same proportion of their income. Shouldnt be too hard to figure something like that.


40 posted on 04/05/2013 1:05:31 AM PDT by Vanders9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009

People who loan out money foolishly deserve to lose it. Get some collateral idiot or don’t loan the money out! The Fed’s Easy Money, Loose Money, Bailouts, Too Big To Fail is all Pure Satanic Evil my friend!


41 posted on 04/05/2013 1:32:24 AM PDT by moonmac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

In Ohio if you pay each medical debt an amount of $5 by check each month you are fine. My parents owed over 3 million dollars and it took several years before a medical malpractice ca$e was won that took care of the entire amount (lawyers took over 1/3). This guy deserves what happened to him; there is no way he did not know but he probably wa angry and refused to pay anything at all. His mistake.


42 posted on 04/05/2013 1:56:05 AM PDT by Jumper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t understand the point being made here. It’s ALWAYS been the case that if a judge fines you and you don’t pay you go to jail. You go to jail just for calling the judge a moron! I personally believe you SHOULD go to debtor’s prison if you fail to meet your obligations - such as child support, paying back welfare fraud, etc. Credit cards not so much unless they charged a reasonable interest rate.


43 posted on 04/05/2013 6:03:36 AM PDT by New Jersey Realist (America: home of the free because of the brave)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vanders9

Just as I said, if they can not or will not pay back the money they took they should go to prison. And the person who is owed the money must be satisfied with the punishment inflicted upon the thief in lew of repayment.

You are assuming the person goes to jail and ALSO must repay the money. I am suggesting they should go to jail instead of repaying the money.


44 posted on 04/05/2013 6:13:29 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Neidermeyer

Sounds like your brother in law needs to get a good lawyer and sue.


45 posted on 04/05/2013 6:15:34 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: WVKayaker

I seem to remember something Jesus said...

oh yeah!

Render onto Ceasar was is Ceasar’s.


46 posted on 04/05/2013 6:17:44 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009

Difference is you were stupid enough to loan them money, in a burglary they took it without your consideration.


47 posted on 04/05/2013 6:27:23 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Vanders9

Let’s just charge gasoline, electricity, (bad)food, etc. based on a person’s income. That will deter those evil rich people from ruining the environment.


48 posted on 04/05/2013 6:29:15 AM PDT by Rusty0604
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Neidermeyer

That has been a sore spot with me all along. If you are arrested and not enough evidence is supported to even keep you arrested you still face court costs, vehicle impounding, and bail. In cases like this one the defendants deserves 100% reclamation back to the state they were in at moment of arrest. It is asinine in situations like this that this person faces several thousands of dollars or incidental costs and probably without his job.


49 posted on 04/05/2013 6:40:07 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Rusty0604

Ah but there’s a difference. The State has control over the cost of fines for breaking commonly agreed laws. They dont (or at least they shouldnt) have any control of the price of anything else.


50 posted on 04/05/2013 6:59:54 AM PDT by Vanders9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-55 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson