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Keyword: debtorsprison

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  • Bogalusa judge accused of running illegal 'modern-day debtors' prison'

    06/23/2016 4:36:26 PM PDT · by BBell · 7 replies | The Times-Picayune ^ | 6/23/16 | Richard Rainey, | The Times-Picayune
    When poor defendants guilty of minor crimes enter Bogalusa Judge Robert Black's courtroom, they are often met with no quarter, according to a federal lawsuit that accuses Black of running an illegal "modern-day debtors' prison." It's pay the fine or immediately begin jail time, with little room to negotiate for those who can't afford to pay. The Southern Poverty Law Center sued Black Tuesday (June 21) in federal court in New Orleans in an attempt to halt that policy, which its lawyers called unconstitutional. They're representing four impoverished defendants worried they'll run afoul of Black at their upcoming hearings."Our clients...
  • DoJ Urging Courts to Stop Jailing Low-Income People Over Unpaid Fines

    03/17/2016 6:06:33 PM PDT · by Nachum · 29 replies
    Truth Revolt ^ | 3/17/16 | Trey Sanchez
    The Obama administration is urging judges across the country to stop handing down jail time to low-income individuals who have unpaid fines. To entice (bribe?) the courts, Loretta Lynch's Department of Justice is offering grants totaling $2.5 million to states and local governments who update their criminal justice practices following these, and other, recommendations. According to Essence, state judges received a letter that complained they were infringing on the constitutional rights of their communities by trapping those low-income citizens in a cycle of poverty. The letter stated: Furthermore, in addition to being unlawful, to the extent that these practices are...
  • Debtors Prisons Alive and Well in Louisiana

    09/06/2015 2:02:22 PM PDT · by BBell · 34 replies ^ | 9/2/15 | Bill Quigley
    Even though the U.S. Supreme Court has said it is unconstitutional, Louisiana still puts hundreds of people in prison every year just because they are too poor to pay court-ordered fines, court costs and costs of probation, according to a recent investigative report by the Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. This misuse of the criminal legal system, often called "pay or stay" is flatly illegal. As The Marshall Project reported, the U.S. Congress outlawed the use of debtors' prisons -- jails for people too poor to pay off their debts -- under federal law nearly 200 years...
  • Lawsuits: St. Louis County town jails are ‘debtors’ prisons’

    02/09/2015 7:49:29 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 9, 2015 5:59 PM EST | Jim Salter
    Federal lawsuits allege that jails in the St. Louis County towns of Ferguson and Jennings operate essentially as modern-day debtors’ prisons, where minor traffic offenses can lead to extended periods behind bars. Two lawsuits were filed Sunday on behalf of people who have spent time in jail for failure to pay fines for traffic violations and minor offenses. The suits representing 11 people jailed in Ferguson and nine in Jennings were filed by the nonprofit Equal Justice Under Law of Washington, the St. Louis nonprofit ArchCity Defenders, and Saint Louis University School of Law. …
  • Pennsylvania mom of 7 dies in jail over unpaid school-related fines

    06/13/2014 8:39:25 AM PDT · by Rusty0604 · 154 replies
    EAG News ^ | 06/13/2014 | Ben Velderman
    PHILADELPHIA – A growing number of Americans are expressing outrage that a Pennsylvania mother of seven died in jail last weekend while serving a 48-hour sentence over unpaid, school truancy-related fines. DiNinoEileen DiNino, 55, was found dead last Saturday in her jail cell. Authorities don’t know the cause of death yet, they have ruled out suspicious behavior. DiNino was being penalized because several of her children routinely missed school. According to the Associated Press, “She had racked up $2,000 in fines, fees and court costs since 1999... The fines related to school truancy are quite small – perhaps $20 –...
  • Local courts reviving 'debtors' prison' for overdue fines, fees

    12/25/2013 1:17:13 PM PST · by ColdOne · 50 replies ^ | 12/25/13 | Kelley Beaucar Vlahos
    Critics are calling the practice the new "debtors' prison" -- referring to the jails that flourished in the U.S. and Western Europe over 150 years ago. Before the time of bankruptcy laws and social safety nets, poor folks and ruined business owners were locked up until their debts were paid off. Reforms eventually outlawed the practice. But groups like the Brennan Center for Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union say it's been reborn in local courts which may not be aware it's against the law to send indigent people to jail over unpaid fines and fees -- or they...
  • 21 Statistics About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Everyone Should Know

    04/05/2013 8:18:42 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies
    TEC ^ | 04/05/2013 | Michael Snyder
    If the economy is getting better, then why does poverty in America continue to grow so rapidly? Yes, the stock market has been hitting all-time highs recently, but also the number of Americans living in poverty has now reached a level not seen since the 1960s. Yes, corporate profits are at levels never seen before, but so is the number of Americans on food stamps. Yes, housing prices have started to rebound a little bit (especially in wealthy areas), but there are also more than a million public school students in America that are homeless. That is the first...
  • As economy flails, debtors' prisons thrive

    04/04/2013 6:47:18 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 54 replies
    CBS News' Money Watch ^ | April 4, 2013 | Alain Sherter
    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...
  • Debtors' Prison Is Back -- and Just as Cruel as Ever

    08/31/2012 7:20:00 AM PDT · by ex-Texan · 66 replies
    Daily ^ | 8/30/2012 | Ross Kenneth Urken
    To most of us, "debtors' prison" sounds like an archaic institution, something straight out of a Dickens novel. But the idea of jailing people who can't pay what they owe is alive and well in 21st-century America. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, debt collectors in Missouri, Illinois, Alabama and other states are using a legal loophole to justify jailing poor citizens who legitimately cannot pay their debts. Here's how clever payday lenders work the system in Missouri -- where, it should be noted, jailing someone for unpaid debts is illegal under the state constitution. First, explains...
  • Jailed for $ 280. The Return of Debtors' Prisons

    04/26/2012 7:39:45 AM PDT · by ex-Texan · 96 replies
    CBS Money Watch ^ | April 23, 2012 | Alain Sherter
    How did breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay end up behind bars? She didn't pay a medical bill -- one the Herrin, Ill., teaching assistant was told she didn't owe. "She got a $280 medical bill in error and was told she didn't have to pay it," The Associated Press reports. "But the bill was turned over to a collection agency, and eventually state troopers showed up at her home and took her to jail in handcuffs." Although the U.S. abolished debtors' prisons in the 1830s, more than a third of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who...
  • SWAT Team Raids Man's Home Over Student Loans

    06/08/2011 8:54:30 AM PDT · by RIghtwardHo · 92 replies
    Michelle Malkin ^ | 6-8-2011 | RightwardHo
    "Kenneth Wright does not have a criminal record and he had no reason to believe a S.W.A.T team would be breaking down his door at 6 a.m. on Tuesday."
  • title:Video: SWAT team raids house over … unpaid student loans

    06/08/2011 10:52:52 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 43 replies · 1+ views
    Hotair ^ | 06/08/2011 | Ed Morrissey
    Via JWF and Reason, we now present this instructional video from the Department of Education. Now that the government has for all practical pruposes nationalized the student-loan industry, the DoE would like to educate recipients on new loan-collection processes. The banks used to send bill collectors and file claims in court, but the Obama administration doesn’t like those kind of harsh private-sector measures to retrieve lost capital. Instead, they’ll send a SWAT team to kick in your door and frighten your children — even if you don’t live with them anymore: CLICK ABOVE LINK FOR THE VIDEO Kenneth Wright does...
  • Jailing for debt exploits poor, ACLU says

    10/04/2010 1:04:11 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 32 replies
    upi. ^ | Oct. 4
    NEW YORK, - Debt imprisonment is rising in America as poor people unable to pay fees are jailed, two advocacy groups said Monday. Reports by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Brennan Center for Justice say many states across the country, strapped for funds, are aggressively going after poor people who have already served their criminal sentences. This makes it harder for them to re-enter society and ultimately costs much more. "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...
  • "Jail for Unpaid Debt a Reality in Six States (Strategic Default Pushback Watch)"

    06/16/2010 10:48:31 PM PDT · by TheDailyChange · 25 replies · 731+ views
    Roubini Global Economics ^ | 7142010 | Yves Smith
    "It’s not a crime to owe money, and debtors’ prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found." Regarding Strategic Defaults >> Can you say MASS EXODUS?
  • Guilty of being poor

    04/26/2009 12:38:08 PM PDT · by mainestategop · 31 replies · 1,006+ views
    Dissidentvoice ^ | 4/25/09 | Eric Ruder
    The jailers of the 19th century — even in the pre-Civil War South — largely abandoned the practice of imprisoning people for falling into debt as counterproductive and ultimately barbaric. In the 1970s and ’80s, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that incarcerating people who can’t pay fines because of poverty violates the U.S. Constitution. Apparently, though, some states and county jails never got the memo. Welcome to the debtors’ prisons of the 21st century. “Edwina Nowlin, a poor Michigan resident, was ordered to reimburse a juvenile detention center $104 a month for holding her 16-year-old son,” the New York Times...
  • Debtor's Prison -- The Poor Person's Best Friend

    03/11/2005 9:27:36 PM PST · by The Loan Arranger · 251 replies · 2,847+ views ^ | Jes Beard
    Years ago, this country did away with debtors prisons. The nation in general, and poor people in particular, would be well served to bring them back. The harm to business from unpaid debt, and the reduced productivity and even business failure unpaid debt can bring, is obvious. Businesses or individuals who are not repaid the money they loaned or who are not paid for the goods or services they produced and sold on credit are prevented from accumulating needed and even expected capital for expansion, and they are frequently thrown into serious financial constraints making it hard to pay their...
  • Louisiana Seeks to Jail the Poor

    05/07/2004 7:57:34 PM PDT · by Pikachu_Dad · 98 replies · 513+ views
    CRIME/PUNISHMENT. Criminalizes nonpayment of child support. AN ACT To enact R.S. 14:75, relative to nonpayment of child support obligations; to enact the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of Louisiana; to create the crime of failure to pay legal child support obligation; to provide for presumptions; to provide for penalties; to provide for restitution; to provide for venue; to provide for definitions; to provide for an affirmative defense; and to provide for related matters. Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana: Section 1. R.S. 14:75 is hereby enacted to read as follows: §75. Failure to pay child support obligation R.S. 14:75...
  • GOP denies Whitmire use of Capitol site(TX-Dem must first pay his runaway fine!)

    09/05/2003 9:15:09 AM PDT · by Diddle E. Squat · 24 replies · 165+ views
    AUSTIN -- State Sen. John Whitmire plans to hold a news conference today in a Senate room he is barred from using until he pays $57,000 in fines levied against him by Republican senators. Whitmire, D-Houston, broke ranks with fellow Democratic senators earlier this week by announcing he was quitting a Senate boycott. He said he would return to Austin from Albuquerque, N.M., in an effort to negotiate a deal to end a stalemate in the congressional redistricting battle with Republicans. Whitmire's staff announced the news conference without booking the Lieutenant Governor's Press Conference Room. But Senate spokesman Mark Miner...