Go To Jail Free Card

Go To Jail Free Card: A forty-nine year old day-care custodian, paid $7.25 an hour for the only job available, to which she walks five miles a day, taking her child to school along the way, was arrested for a string of traffic tickets where road-blocks discovered she had no license and no insurance. Unable to pay the traffic fines, the mother was sentenced to two years probation with a $200 fee per month for “supervision.” Scraping to pay the monthly supervision fee, including all of her income-tax refund, and after lost hours at work made her late in fee payments, additional fines continued until in her debt was in the thousands. Reduced to renting a room to a border with dementia, stuffing holes in her house walls with towels due to foundation movement, then out of work due to cost cutting, and with no prospects for employment, the forty-nine year old mother of a school age child faced jail time over a “supervision” debt incurred to private corporation employed by the public court. Pitched as a revenue source for local municipalities, Private Court Services tries petty cases serving also as a barrier to public indignation and a way to milk millions out of those living in dire poverty. Called “Offender Funded Justice,” the privatized court system––now operating nationwide––is inculcating abuse and corruption into the American system of justice. Like the infamous debtors courts and indentured labor system of colonial times, fees, fines and costs pile up faster than a laborer can pay off the initial debt. Systematic enslavement, privatizing jail time, indentured serfdom; all different names throughout history for the same nasty trick of allowing private enterprise to make a profit out of other people’s misery. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.

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