FEATURED: ‘ Debtor’s Prison Of Days Gone By ‘

Do you know where you heard the term “Debtor’s Prison”?

#AceGuestNews – Oct.26: Many of those that came to the New World were religious zealots on the run and people fleeing from debtor’s prison……our ancestors were actually running from the law…

But what is debtor’s prison exactly…….A debtors’ prison is a prison for those who are unable to pay debt. Prior to the mid 19th century debtors’ prisons were a common way to deal with unpaid debt.

Meanwhile back to my state of Mississippi……along the Coast there are 2 major cities…Biloxi being one of them and this city has made the news…..

Debtors prisons are supposedly a thing of the distant past—except in Biloxi, Miss. That’s according to a class-action lawsuit filed against the city, its police department, the courts, and a private probation company, alleging these agencies have conspired to threaten poor residents into paying up to avoid jail time, the Guardian reports. Despite a 1983 Supreme Court ruling that imprisoning someone because they can’t pay fines violates the 14th Amendment, the lawsuit documents 415 such people in Biloxi who were thrown behind bars between September 2014 and March. A lawyer for the ACLU, which filed the suit, says locals were “arrested at traffic stops and in their homes, taken to jail, and subjected to a jailhouse shakedown,” calling it “a debtors’ prison from the Dark Ages.” One notable case: a 51-year-old jailed a month for misdemeanors mainly related to his homelessness.

An NPRprobe found all 50 states are engaging in such practices (and more and more lawsuits are being filed), but Biloxi takes issue. “We believe the ACLU is mistaken about the process in Biloxi,” the city noted in a statement, though it says it hasn’t yet seen the lawsuit. “The court has used community service in cases where defendants are unable to pay their fines.” The lead plaintiff, Qumotria Kennedy, is a 36-year-old single mom who makes $9,000 a year as a cleaner. She was a passenger when her friend was pulled over in July for running a stop sign. Police ran Kennedy’s name, and she was arrested and jailed due to $1,000 in unpaid court fines and late fees. She spent five days and nights in a holding cell and lost her job; the fees are now $1,251. “The probation person told me if I don’t pay it, I will be arrested again sooner or later,” she tells the Guardian. “I don’t believe this is right. I just hope other people in the world don’t get treated like I have.” (A New Orleans parish is facing the same scenario.)

The South may be attempting to move out of the shadow of its past but there are some things that never change……Mississippi and its sister state Alabama are stuck in pre-1950 history….

Original Article: http://lobotero.com/2015/10/26/debtors-prison-of-days-gone-by/

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