In the USA prison for debtors

Not getting full satisfaction from prison the highest percentage of its population than anywhere else on the planet, many U.S. states have additional throwing people in jail — for failure to pay debts, fines and court costs.

More than 5,000 orders for the arrest of debtors were signed by the judges United States since January 2010, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. In some states, a warrant for the arrest of the debtor may be discharged if the debtor ignores a court order for the payment of the debt or not at the court hearing …
And after all, 150 years ago Our country has decided that it is — a bad idea.

Prison for debtors were common in the United States until the mid-1800s. U.S. abolished imprisonment for debtors by taking the appropriate federal law in 1833, but the practice has continued to operate in individual states.

40 years ago the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such practices — unconstitutional, even for individual states.
In 1970, the Supreme Court in the case, "Williams against the authorities of Illinois," held that the purpose of the maximum prison term, due to the fact that people are too poor to pay fines and court costs — a violation of the right to equal protection.

In fact, "Tate vs. Short" The court ruled that the imposition of a fine as a penalty, and automatic imprisonment because the defendant and the poor can not immediately pay the fine in full — it is unconstitutional …
Unfortunately, the news of the rulings of the Supreme Court, apparently, a long commute to the lower classes.
About one-third of the states to imprison debtors for non-payment. 15 states hold hearings for debtors who are unable to pay debts.
In the 15 states that have such laws, there is no state of Ohio. In Ohio, there are even some constitutional provisions explicitly prevent such practices. However, ACLU in Ohio recently issued a detailed report, showing that in this state there is a prison for debtors.
Cashing in on the poor and the unfortunate, Ohio makes beggars make endless circles on the courts, by inserting them more and more penalties, landing in jail and infinitely increasing their debts.

The court shall inform the people facing imprisonment on the amount of their debt, and without any clarification of their financial capacity, appoints a monthly payment schedule. But never have they had not been informed of the right to counsel. The court informed them that if they did not follow the prescribed schedule them again thrown into prison. On a certain day, if a person has not paid, will be issued an arrest warrant. Eventually, the police caught a man and send him to prison for 10 days incommunicado. After the expiration of 10 days, they are usually free, by inserting additional accounts for the arrest and transportation. For poor Ohio residents who are unable to pay the fines and debts nightmarish cycle is repeated again and again.

To make matters worse, all this illegal system makes no sense from a social and economic point of view.
In cities across the state, thousands of people every day are faced with the nightmare of prison just because they are poor.
The United States Constitution, the Constitution of the State of Ohio and the Audit Code of Ohio completely prohibit prison for debtors. The law requires that before anyone put in jail for unpaid fines, the court must determine whether the person is solvent. The imprisonment of a person who is unable to pay — is a violation of the law, and yet, the municipal courts and mayors continue this draconian practice across the state. In addition, debtors prison for almost wasting taxpayers' money by arresting and holding jail debtors who simply never be able to pay all fines, and which is less than the cost of arrest and imprisonment …

Fortunately, according to the report ACLU, some District of Ohio come to his senses, probably only temporarily while watching them Human Rights Commission. ACLU asked the Ohio Supreme Court permanently ban the practice.
Imprisonment for non-payment of debt is not limited only to those who are entangled in the judicial debt cycle, and those who are written out fines and court costs for criminal offenses. In debtor's prison also get people who face insidious actions debt collectors.

Wall Street Journal reported two years ago, after a survey of 20 judges across the country, the number of debtors, faced with the threat of arrest in their courts "has grown since the beginning of the financial crisis." Some prisoners "before imprisonment did not even know that against them, was nominated for a claim outstanding debt" because of "inaccurate, incomplete, and even falsified documents." It has become common for debtors who are serving prison terms. Some debtors have even been required to pay for time spent in prison.

In 2011, NPR told the story that happened to a resident of Illinois on behalf of Robin Sanders.
She was driving home when she was detained by the police for being too loud muffler. But instead of letting go, just writing out a receipt, police arrested Sanders, and she was in jail.
"That's when I learned that I had written out a warrant for failing to appear in court district Mekupin. I used this did not know anything. "

Sanders owed $ 730 for medical care. She says she did not even know that the collection agency has filed her lawsuit.
"They said they sent subpoenas, but nobody got" — says Sanders.
She spent four days in jail, waiting for her father would find $ 500 to pay her mortgage. The money was transferred to a collection agency.
Get sick, get well and go to jail. Or die quickly. That's all your choice.

Source: Debtors' Prisons. They're Back., jpmassar, Daily Kos, Apr 08, 2013.

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