Is It a Crime to Be Poor? – The New York Times

The modern equivalent of debtors’ prisons lock people up if they cannot pay.

In the 21st century, the United States has reinstated a broad system of debtors’ prisons, in effect making it a crime to be poor.

If you don’t believe me, come with me to the county jail in Tulsa. On the day I visited, 23 people were incarcerated for failure to pay government fines and fees, including one woman imprisoned because she couldn’t pay a fine for lacking a license plate.


(Click to read) Source: Is It a Crime to Be Poor? – The New York Times

A commenter wrote:

“Poverty is not just a matter of being stupid or lazy or dysfunctional as many people who are not poor want to tell themselves. Lack of resources makes people extremely vulnerable, alternately dependent and victimized by the state/government.

How can someone pay thousands or even hundreds in debt to the government when they need that same government to provide them with food stamps just so they can eat? Why should a mother have to decide between paying fines and feeding her children?

At the heart of this problem is a dysfunctional system that rewards people with money and punishes those without? Even more disgusting is the fact that many local and state governments rely on these fines and fees to meet their budgets. And don’t forget the prison/jail system that makes incarceration a very profitable industry for a few at the expense of many lives.

Why can Donald Trump skip out on owing investors and banks millions, all while bragging that he is still worth billions, but Ms. Hall has to rot in jail for $1200 or even $11K?
And lets not forget all of the crooks still foot loose and fancy free after nearly collapsing our economy in 2008? I’d rather my tax dollars got to bailing out Ms. Webb so she can go to work and feed her kids without the constant threat of arrest.”


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