Resurruction of Debtor’s Prisons

Here is a story about research done by NPR about the impact of court fees on poor people. I have seen this myself: someone is homeless and given a ticket for trespassing because they were sleeping behind a warehouse. They go to court, the case gets continued, they miss a court date, there’s a warrant out for their arrest. Maybe they get picked up, maybe not, but there’s another court date, maybe they make it maybe they don’t.

You can see how this would spiral quickly.

And with each of these warrants and court dates, there is a fee. A fee to meet with the parole officer. A fee to have a public defender.

And this is in every state in the U.S.

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