New Debtors' Prison: Why All Americans Are in Danger of Losing Their Freedom - Book
New Debtors' Prison: Why All Americans Are in Danger of Losing Their Freedom - Book
Contribution: $75.00

Product Code: OB08327-SP19

Debtors’ prisons might sound like something out of a Dickens novel, as
antiquated as leeching, but what most Americans do not realize is that they are
alive and well in a new and startling form. Today more than 20 percent of the
prison population is incarcerated for financial reasons such as failing to pay a
fine. This alarming trend not only affects the poor, who are hit particularly
hard, but also ensnares the millions of self-identified middle-class people who
are struggling to make ends meet.

All across the country people are being fined and even imprisoned for offenses
as small as delinquency on student debt or an unpaid parking ticket. However,
there is an insidious undercurrent to these practices that the average person
might not realize. Many counties depend on a steady supply of citizens to pay
fines and court costs in order to make their budgets. Minor vehicle infractions,
by design, can rack up hundreds of dollars in charges that go straight to the
city’s coffers. Combine this with the fact that many middle-class people
cannot handle an unexpected $400 expense and the general lack of awareness about
the risk for being repeatedly jailed for failure to pay court costs, probation,
and even per day charges for being in jail and you get an endless cycle of men
and women either in debt or in prison for debt.

While shocking to some, this system makes up today’s debtors’ prisons. In
The New Debtors’ Prison, Christopher Maselli draws from his personal knowledge
of the criminal justice system based on his experience on both sides of the
prison walls as an attorney as well as a former inmate, to take a hard look at
our modern prison system that systematically targets the poor and vulnerable of
our society in order to fund the prison-industrial complex.

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