In the name of this country's time-honored tradition of punishing, exploiting and otherwise flipping off the poor, cash-strapped cities are increasingly embracing pay-or-stay incarceration - facilitated by private prisons and debt collectors - whereby they lock up people too poor to pay fines for petty offenses like speeding, and then pocket rewards that are modest for them but often ruinous for the "offenders." The ACLU just filed a Mississippi class action lawsuit calling grievous foul.
From the Dark Ages: Ingenious Cities Concoct Debtor's Prisons So They Can Balance Their Budgets on the Backs of the Poor
Greed is the inventor of injustice as well as the current enforcer.
We don't have jails and prisons in this country. We have concentration camps and extortion centers for the poor.
How can this happen? Is there nothing in federal law that prevents this? Or in some state laws?
Don't worry. It will only grow worse. Human beings below a certain income have become irrelevant and expendable. Although the murder of human beings in faraway places has the attention of the 'authorities' now; the murder of those deemed expendable has been steadily increasing in the United States. Fiscal policy is not only designed to make the wealthy wealthier, but to impoverish those of us considered irrelevant and that number also increases daily. Soon most of us will be attached to the penal system in some manner (paying fines of some sort for some seemingly unlawful behavior) and if you chose not to play along, guess what's waiting for you. As the creatures in the film chanted, "Resistance is futile." Well, almost. Yeah, we're almost there. These days simply showing up in court costs more money than most of us have and all of this for the privilege of sharing the wonders of democracy. Hmmm, what is to be done? I imagine a worthy starting point would be refuse to participate at all - a very long strike, very long. Good luck, fellow Americans and watch out. Tread carefully.