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Debtors Prison

Three Ballot Initiatives That Could Change America

David Morris | Posted 10.31.2016 | Politics
David Morris

On November 8th citizens in 35 states vote on 163 ballot initiatives. They cover a wide range of subjects (e.g. marijuana, minimum wage, taxes, gun co...

This Mom Spent 35 Days In Jail For Bouncing A $29 Check

The Huffington Post | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 08.30.2016 | Politics

Nearly five years ago, Nikki Petree accidentally bounced a check for $28.93. Judge Milas “Butch” Hale ― the man behind a so-called “debtors’...

Settlement ends debtors' prison in Washington county

ACLU of Washington | Posted 06.30.2016 | Politics
ACLU of Washington

After struggling with addiction and mental illness, Jayne Fuentes served her time, found a job and got her life back on track. But even though she'd b...

Governor Hickenlooper: Fix the Hole in Colorado Municipal Courts

Nathan Woodliff-Stanley | Posted 05.06.2016 | Denver
Nathan Woodliff-Stanley

In Colorado municipal courts, justice is often hard to come by if you're poor. ACLU of Colorado client Shawn Hardman found that out the hard way when...

How Locking Up Judges Could End Debtors' Prisons

The Huffington Post | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 08.25.2016 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Justice Department officials warned U.S. judges and court administrators this week that practices like incarcerating poor people without...

Woman Who Spoke At The White House This Month Nearly Spent Christmas Homeless

The Huffington Post | Mariah Stewart | Posted 12.30.2015 | Politics

ST. LOUIS -- A woman who captivated an audience at the White House earlier this month with her story of spending years in and out of jails in St. Loui...

Mississippi City Sued Over 'Jailhouse Shakedown' That Hurts Poor

The Huffington Post | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 10.21.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- It was two days after Christmas in 2012 when the police in Biloxi, Mississippi, showed up at Joseph Anderson’s door. It had been a har...

The Return of the Debtors' Prison

Anthony D. Romero | Posted 09.30.2016 | Black Voices
Anthony D. Romero

State and local governments should be helping their poorest residents improve their lives, rather than perpetuating a vicious and unfair cycle that criminalizes poverty and exacerbates inequality.

May You Be Imprisoned for Failing to Pay a Debt?

Brad Reid | Posted 09.16.2016 | Business
Brad Reid

The answer to the question contained in the title, in contemporary U.S. law, depends upon the definition of the word "debt" and the situation under co...

Debtors Prisons Alive and Well in Louisiana

Bill Quigley | Posted 09.02.2016 | Politics
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.

The Collateral Damage of Austerity

Robert Koehler | Posted 07.09.2016 | Politics
Robert Koehler

The austerity packages Greece has endured as its condition of economic bailout over the past half-decade have not only further gutted the country's broken economy and prevented any sort of recovery toward self-sufficiency, but have shattered the socioeconomic structure of life.

Ryan J. Reilly

Ferguson: If Negligent, Careless Poor People Can't Make Bail, It's Their Fault | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 06.11.2015 | Politics

ST. LOUIS -- When lawyers in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division investigated the operations of the Ferguson Police Department and munici...

New Measures Help Offenders Who Can't Afford Fines, Legal Fees Avoid Cycle Of Debtors' Prison

New York Times | TINA ROSENBERG | Posted 03.31.2015 | Impact

When Jack Dawley returned in 2007 to his hometown, Norwalk, Ohio, after eight years in prison and on parole in Wisconsin, he knew getting by would be ...

Lawsuits Claim Ferguson And Another Missouri Town Are Jailing Poor People For Profit

Reuters | Posted 02.09.2015 | Crime

Feb 9 (Reuters) - Ferguson, Missouri and a second St. Louis suburb are being accused in separate lawsuits of operating a "debtors' prison scheme," ill...

10 Ways Colorado Made History in 2014

Nathan Woodliff-Stanley | Posted 03.02.2015 | Denver
Nathan Woodliff-Stanley

The year was marked by historic changes on issues from marriage equality to solitary confinement reform, and it ended with Colorado students taking to the streets, forcing a dialogue about race and police practices.

Ben Walsh

Texas Is Throwing People In Jail For Failing To Pay Back Predatory Loans | Ben Walsh | Posted 12.29.2014 | Business

Texas has a problem: it keeps putting people in jail for borrowing money. At least six people were jailed in the state over the past two years because they owed money on payday loans.

Debtor's Prisons in Kentucky and Other Horrors of the Justice System

Don McNay | Posted 12.13.2014 | Crime
Don McNay

What is going on in Kentucky is apparently going on in various pockets of the nation. It has to stop because it is wrong. It also has to stop unless the rulings of the Supreme Court mean nothing to people charged with upholding them.

State Court STRIKES DOWN 'Debtors' Prisons'

Simon McCormack | Posted 02.05.2014 | Crime

Ohio's highest court took steps to make sure no one sentenced in state cases gets put behind bars simply because they are too poor. The state's sup...

Kuttner's Debtors' Prison: A Much-Needed Brief Against Austerity

Richard (RJ) Eskow | Posted 07.18.2013 | Politics
Richard (RJ) Eskow

Debtors' Prison should be required reading for anyone who influences economic policy in this country. Open-minded readers should come away convinced that we need to reject the economics of despair for an economics of hope.

Debtors' Prisons Make the Poor Poorer

Inimai Chettiar | Posted 09.05.2012 | Politics
Inimai Chettiar

2012-08-27-scblog.pngIncarcerating people for not paying fees they can't afford isn't generating revenue -- it's just creating more government spending. And making it almost impossible for people to rejoin society ensures that people will wind up back in prison.

Going After A Dead Man's Debt And Other Debt Collector Horror Stories

The Huffington Post | Harry Bradford | Posted 05.24.2012 | Business

One Michigan-based debt collector has allegedly been trying to collect debts from people who don't owe them, including one man who has been dead for y...

Debt Collector Getting People To Pay Up By Being Nice

The Huffington Post | Harry Bradford | Posted 05.01.2012 | Business

Turns out nice guys may not always finish last. Access Receivables, a Baltimore-based debt collection agency, is finding success using a novel app...

Breast Cancer Survivor Jailed Over Accidental $280 Medical Bill

The Huffington Post | Harry Bradford | Posted 04.23.2012 | Business

In the latest example of aggressive debt collector tactics, an Illinois woman found herelf jailed over a bill she didn’t even owe in the first place...

Demand That Collection Agencies Keep "The 5 New Year's Resolutions for the Conscious Bill Collector"

Jerry Ashton | Posted 03.12.2012 | Business
Jerry Ashton

If there is one thing that most Americans might agree upon it is that the debt collection industry and the work it performs ranks in status somewhere below that of a Wall Street Banker and slightly above that of a U.S. Congressman.

In Many States, Borrowers In Debt Could End Up In Jail

The Huffington Post | Jillian Berman | Posted 11.22.2011 | Business

Not paying off debts can eventually land you in jail -- at least in a sizable minority of U.S. states. Borrowers who can't or don't pay their debts...