Ferguson, Missouri jails people for being poor

This video from the USA says about itself:

27 August 2014

Is Ferguson Feeding off the Poor? City Disproportionately Stops, Charges and Fines People of Color.

From Newser.com in the USA:

Ferguson Sued Over ‘Debtors’ Prisons

Suit says city routinely locks up people too poor to pay fines

By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff

Feb 9, 2015 12:30 AM CST

Debtors’ prisons vanished from most of the US in the 1830s but Ferguson, Missouri is still routinely locking up people who can’t afford to pay fines, according to a group of civil rights lawyers suing the city. A pair of lawsuits accuse Ferguson and Jennings, another St. Louis suburb, of unconstitutionally jailing people for non-payment of traffic fines and other minor offenses without considering whether they are able to pay, reports NPR. The Ferguson suit accuses the city, which has a population of 21,000 and issued nearly 33,000 arrest warrants in 2013, of building a municipal scheme “designed to brutalize, to punish, and to profit.” Court fines and fees are Ferguson‘s second-biggest source of income, making up around 21% of its budget.

Plaintiffs say they end up caught in a cycle of fines, penalties, and jailings in unsanitary, overcrowded municipal facilities. “Anytime I go outside, I fear that I’ll be stopped by the police,” a 23-year-old woman who has been locked up repeatedly over the last five years over traffic tickets tells the New York Times. “You drive to work so you can pay the fines, but then you get pulled over, so you owe even more,” she says. But since the Michael Brown shooting six months ago, the city has taken a few steps toward reform, including a proposal to cap revenue from traffic tickets and an “amnesty” in which people can pay $100 to have arrest warrants lifted before agreeing to a new payment plan, reports NPR.

See also here. And here.

Ferguson, Missouri and a second St. Louis suburb are being accused in separate lawsuits of operating a “debtors’ prison scheme,” illegally jailing poor people who are unable to pay traffic tickets or fines tied to other minor offenses: here.

Lawsuit Filed Against Ferguson For Sending Mostly Black Residents to Inhumane Treatment in Debtors’ Prison Because of Traffic Tickets: here.

Ferguson Jails Sued For Being “Modern Debtors’ Prison,” Allegedly Trapping Low-Income Americans: here.

Six Months Since Mike Brown’s Killing, the Struggle Continues: here.

12 thoughts on “Ferguson, Missouri jails people for being poor

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