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How Debtors' Prisons Are Making A Comeback In America

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg,

Apparently having 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of its prisoners simply isn’t good enough for neo-feudal America. No, we need to find more creative and archaic ways to wastefully, immorally and seemingly unconstitutionally incarcerate poor people. Welcome to the latest trend in the penal colony formerly known as America. Debtors’ prisons. A practice I thought had long since been deemed outdated (indeed it has been largely eradicated in the Western world with the exception of about 1/3 of U.S. states as well as Greece).

From Fox News:

As if out of a Charles Dickens novel, people struggling to pay overdue fines and fees associated with court costs for even the simplest traffic infractions are being thrown in jail across the United States.


Critics are calling the practice the new “debtors’ prison” — referring to the jails that flourished in the U.S. and Western Europe over 150 years ago. Before the time of bankruptcy laws and social safety nets, poor folks and ruined business owners were locked up until their debts were paid off.


Reforms eventually outlawed the practice. But groups like the Brennan Center for Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union say it’s been reborn in local courts which may not be aware it’s against the law to send indigent people to jail over unpaid fines and fees — or they just haven’t been called on it until now.


The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law released a “Tool Kit for Action” in 2012 that broke down the cost to municipalities to jail debtors in comparison with the amount of old debt it was collecting. It doesn’t look like a bargain. For example, according to the report, Mecklenburg County, N.C., collected $33,476 in debts in 2009, but spent $40,000 jailing 246 debtors — a loss of $6,524.

Don’t worry, I’m sure private prisons for debtors will soon spring up to make this practice a pillar of GDP growth.

Many jurisdictions have taken to hiring private collection/probation companies to go after debtors, giving them the authority to revoke probation and incarcerate if they can’t pay. Research into the practice has found that private companies impose their own additional surcharges. Some 15 private companies have emerged to run these services in the South, including the popular Judicial Correction Services (JCS).


In 2012, Circuit Judge Hub Harrington at Harpersville Municipal Court in Alabama shut down what he called the “debtors’ prison” process there, echoing complaints that private companies are only in it for the money. He cited JCS in part for sending indigent people to jail. Calling it a “judicially sanctioned extortion racket,” Harrington said many defendants were locked up on bogus failure-to-appear warrants, and slapped with more fines and fees as a result.


Repeated calls to JCS in Alabama and Georgia were not returned.


The ACLU found that seven out of 11 counties they studied were operating de facto debtors’ prisons, despite clear “constitutional and legislative prohibitions.” Some were worse than others. In the second half of 2012 in Huron County, 20 percent of arrests were for failure to pay fines. The Sandusky Municipal Court in Erie County jailed 75 people in a little more than a month during the summer of 2012. The ACLU says it costs upwards of $400 in Ohio to execute a warrant and $65 a night to jail people.


Mark Silverstein, a staff attorney at the Colorado ACLU, claimed judges in these courts never assess the defendants’ ability to pay before sentencing them to jail, which would be unconstitutional.

Full article here.

On a related note, I strong suggest everyone read the following article from The Atlantic called: I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System.

You’ll never see the “justice” system in the same light again.


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Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:35 | Link to Comment 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Oh shit... the 10 year Treasury just hit 3.00%.


I'm not sure debtors prison ever really went away, failing to pay child support or just about any civil judgment can easily result in "contempt of court" and jail time.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:42 | Link to Comment johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

We've officially adopted the ChiCom model. Congrats Amerika!

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:46 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Just remember: If they weren't bad, they never would have been arested!

Team America! Fuck yeah!!

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:06 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

So let me get this straight.  There are now private debt collection companies that can throw you in jail if you fail to pay overdue [whatever].  However, they themselves do not have to bear the cost of that imprisonment decision.

Got it.  Fantastic.  Fine work, gentlemen.  Fine work.  That's as close to printing money on the backs of your fellow citizens as you can get without being the Federal Reserve.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:09 | Link to Comment Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

First it's private companies, then it's private prisons, as public prisons get overwhelmed.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:15 | Link to Comment negative rates
negative rates's picture

But that's what the financialization of the economy was all about, we all agreed to it. What the hell is goin on here?

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 23:24 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Chumba didn't intend to see how the "justice" system worked from the inside but he got swallowed by the whale like Jonah nevertheless.  He was able to climb back out the first time but that whale is hungry and sucked him back in again, this time deep.  Ha!  Chumba knows new kung fu.  One thing you can do when you're inside a whale and not near the opening is to just cut a new one for yourself nearby.  Pisses off the whale something fierce, and all they can really do at that point is puke you up before you do permanent damage.

Chumba is going to start hacking away at the side of the whale now.  Watch out, it's going to hurl!

I am Chumbawamba.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 20:42 | Link to Comment 4 wheel drift
4 wheel drift's picture

hmmm....   strangely.....  it makes me think of....

THE FED....   it does (supposedly) public service, i.e. keep inlfation at bay.... blah, blah, blah,,, bs,, bs,,, bs,,,  oh but wait,,,  it is a private company....  hence we cannot KNOW its owners...   right ? sarc///...

ah yes, but it [indirectly -lol] sets policy...  i.e. interest rates....  -LOL  never mind that it is an "independent & sovereign" entity  [INDEED]

and ALL its follies are covered (as in paid for) by the TAXPAYER....   (-lol  da people of the USSA)

....what a fucking farse....   these [developing] debtors prisons is just another way to assure the status quo....  indeed remains (as in status quo -lol)

as stated many times before....

no way to fix this shit....   it needs to be destroyed.... and then rebuilt from zero...   hopefully, without commies, liars, and/or do-gooders...  (or fucking religious zealots).  hint... needs to be based on a...  REPUBLIC

as sample token....   the (c)ACA would it work if patch-fixes applied ?  -LOL obviously NOT  so why assume the existing system, where laws and rules are broken daily...   by the very same arseholes who created them.... to....   keep the populace at bay....

*time for ......   ____________   YOU fill in the blank...

*i do not want to be thrown in jail for suggesting the OBVIOUS...  -LOL

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:22 | Link to Comment Bad Attitude
Bad Attitude's picture

That's as close to printing money on the backs of your fellow citizens as you can get without being the Federal Reserve.

Don't forget all of those red-light cameras set up for "public safety" to pump out traffic tickets. The municipal leaders who approved those cameras saw it as a revenue stream.

Forward (over the cliff)!

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:46 | Link to Comment El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

One municipality near me actually got rid of those.  The state told them that they couldn't put them on state (rather than municipal) roads, which eliminated the biggest money maker out of the lot.  A couple of the city councilors started screaming about the lost revenue.  No mention of the legality or even the safety of drivers.  It was all about the revenue.  Another municipality nearby has them, and has a system where you can have "hearings" over the ticket.  They say in the ordinance that authorizes the cameras that the rules of evidence apply, then immediately exempt themselves from the rules of evidence.  However, this is unenforceable, as over 40% of people who get the tickets simply do not pay them, and there ain't shit the municipality can do about it.  Now they're talking about getting rid of it because there isn't enough revenue. 

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 18:35 | Link to Comment johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

FWIW, the primary contractor for traffic light cameras in America is a company known as ATS; part of Warren Buffett's empire. What they do is sweep down upon municipalities, give the  maximum legal donations to those politicians open to receiving donations then get the laws rubber stamped by the government. After that, if their are successful challenges to the constitutionality of said laws, then ATS sweeps in again, bribes, er donates to the politicians with tougher laws to force the cost of court challenges, including jury trials, back upon the accused.

That's how they did it in Florida and it is another example of how the 4th Amendment and 5th Amendment are not worth the paper they were written on nor 200 years of blood shed to protect that right and guarantee a free and fair trial for the accussed.

Stasimerika. Learn to love it or get re-educated and/or baked in an oven.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 19:00 | Link to Comment El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Redflex is big out here.  Another city that had one of the speed vans had some old guy in a robe come out one night and shoot it.  Fucking hilarious.


(It starts around the 4:30 mark.)

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:06 | Link to Comment Spanky
Spanky's picture



Don't forget all of those red-light cameras set up for "public safety" to pump out traffic tickets. The municipal leaders who approved those cameras saw it as a revenue stream. -- Bad Attitude

We had two red-light cameras in our (very) small town. Safety don't cha know... not revenue. In any case, folks got more than a little torqued about it and, after two years, finally got a new mayor (and two new city counsel members) to remove them. Then the revenue issues began to crop up -- seems the previous mayor and city manager had secretly pledged the red-light camera revenue stream to cover yet another municipal debt for one of their revenue "enhancing" projects (we'll be bankrupt soon)... The company contracted to provide the cameras and issue the citations was guaranteed $18,000 per month (per two cameras in a town of less than 1800 souls).

Frankly our slide into municipal debt began when we hired a "full-time, professional" city manager. Now we even have a municipal department of propaganda (communications specialist making >$40K), but are cutting police, fire, and municipal services... have hiked water and sewer rates by over 45%, and have one of the highest tax millages in the county.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 18:25 | Link to Comment swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

We got a couple dozen of those in Minneapolis.  They worked great and people actually stopped running red lights at those intersections, which has become an increasingly serious problem here.  But somebody sued over the fact that they issued a moving violation ticket that brought in an over-$150 fine, without verifying who was actually driving.

The obvious solution was suggested; make it the equivalent of a parking ticket, which carries a much lower fiine but goes to the car and owner regardless of who was driving.  That way we'd still have gotten the benefit of the noticeable reduction in red-light-running.

No dice.  There was absolutely no interest in re-writing the ordinance. Then it turned out that the whole idea had been sold to the Minneapolis City Council by the private vendor who provided the cameras and had apparently been contracted to operate them, on the condition that most of the fine money would go to the private company.  The private company refused to continue to operate the cameras without all that revenue.

So the city paid out a few million bucks to buy these things, and they worked really well, but since they couldn't divert enough money from the legal system to the connected insider corporation, they're just sitting there turned off, rusting away.

And since then I've lost one car to being T-boned by a red-light-runner, and had numerous other close calls.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 18:41 | Link to Comment Cannon Fodder
Cannon Fodder's picture

And what about the accidents the cause? People get paranoid about getting a ticket from them, so they approach the light and as soon as it turns yellow they slam on their brakes causing the person behind them to rear end - instead of letting the normal flow of traffic clear the intersection (not suggesting I approve of running red lights) - I believe I've seen reports of studies that suggest they actually cause more problems than they solve.


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 19:01 | Link to Comment El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Albuquerque actually got caught shortening the duration of the yellow lights at the intersections the things were posted at, and then lying about it.  Some city official swore up and down that the durations of the yellows were appropriate, gave the numbers, and then was confronted with video evidence that he was full of shit.  All of this happened live on the air. 

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:48 | Link to Comment Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  Civil court and criminal court are 2 completely different things. In civil court judgements are enforced differently then in criminal court. Yes you could be thrown in jail for not paying child support or the court costs on a DUI ect.

  To enforce civil judgements collection agencies or the court will usually go after a persons/businesses credit or place liens on all their property until payed. Just having an unpaid bill in itself doesn't give a a private company the right to incarcerate someone. Half the country would be in jail for not paying their credit card chargeoffs, and forclosures.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:51 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Thanks for helping clarify this.  I knew that people here were taking liberties, but one only has so much energy to confront stupid...

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:54 | Link to Comment El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

In many states, it's wage garnishment.  For a fun one on wage garnishment:


A New Mexico District court held a collection law firm violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and state consumer protection law by twice attempting to garnish an individual’s wages when the individual did not actually owe the alleged debt. Subsequently, the New Mexico federal jury awarded the individual $1.26 million in damages.

In the case, the creditor hired a collection law firm to collect an alleged credit card debt. The creditor provided the Social Security number, address and full name of the consumer owing the debt to the law firm. However, an employee of the law firm changed the Social Security number in the law firm’s records from that of the consumer to another individual who did not owe the debt. When the law firm contacted that individual, she asserted she did not owe the debt, but the law firm filed suit and attempted to garnish her wages. The individual’s employer protested the garnishment order claiming the garnishment was not intended for her. Years later, the collection firm attempted to garnish the individual’s wages again. The individual filed suit against the law firm asserting the firm violated the FDCPA and the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act by wrongly attempting to garnish her wages.


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:47 | Link to Comment lex parsimoniae
lex parsimoniae's picture

Precisley ND,

The prison profiteers taking a lesson from the TBTF banksters..

Private Profit/Public Risk

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:27 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Just remember: If they weren't bad, they never would have been arested! Team America! Fuck yeah!!

Did I really need the <sarc> tag? Or was it just BTC haters trying to get a shot in?

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:41 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Ignore the people too stupid to get it.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:48 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Q: What do you call a lawyer that is so incompetent he or she cannot make it in private practice?

A: Your Honor.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:03 | Link to Comment Kinskian
Kinskian's picture

Judge: One more outburst like that and I will hold you in contempt!

Defendant: Good, then we'll be even.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:47 | Link to Comment max2205
max2205's picture

3 squares ain't bad if you don't have SNAP

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 18:01 | Link to Comment asteroids
asteroids's picture

Not yet. The final step is the involuntary removal of bodily organs for transplant to pay off debt.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:00 | Link to Comment InTheLandOfTheBlind
InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

in the iowa constitution it states the you can't be thrown into jail for public, private, or civil debt... i once asked a clerk of courts that if this was true, which she didn't argue, how is it that you throw people in jail for no child support.... she just laughed at me... heinous bitch knew what a crock of shit our legal system had become but she had no intention of doing the right think and exposing it

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:12 | Link to Comment LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture


As far as the debtor's prisons I agree they have never gone away it all depends on the state you are in for how seriously they pursue it.

This type of article is sensationalist if people stop to think about it that debt could belong to your mother's or brother's pension plan, or children who have to have food and shelter and aren't responsible for their parents poor decisions. 


Remember one person's debt is another person's asset.

I think some people confuse this with the feds activities they are two different things.  


If it's usary people don't like they can thank the Democrats for bringing it back.



"American Usury 

One of the fundamental issues that party managers wished to avoid was the scandal of American usury. Usury is the ancient sin of charging inflated interest rates sure to ruin the borrowers. It is considered immoral by Judaism, Christianity and Islam because usury involves the powerful using their wealth to ensnare weak and defenseless borrowers. The classic usurer offers an impossible choice that debtors cannot easily refuse. If they reject the terms of the loan, they will not be able to pay the rent or buy necessities. If they accept the usurious interest rates, their debts will accumulate until they are bankrupted (at which point the creditors claim their property). No civilized society can endure in such conditions. 

Usury used to be illegal in the United States but it was "decriminalized" in 1980--the dawn of financial deregulation. A Democratic president and Congress repealed all interest-rate controls and the federal law prohibiting usury. Thirty years later, American society is permeated with usurious practices--credit cards charging 30 percent and higher, subprime mortgages and other forms of predatory lending, the notorious "payday" loans that charge desperate working people an effective interest rate of 500 percent or more. Businesses, especially smaller firms, are also prey to usury in less direct ways. 

Needing credit to survive, they submit to the creditor's demands and are often weakened as a result, shedding workers and services that shrink customers and income. "

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:33 | Link to Comment lex parsimoniae
lex parsimoniae's picture

Anyone who has ever "borrowed" from the IRS (this would include most business start-ups) will also be intimately familiar with usury. Though they call it by various names, penalty, fee, or interest it is still usurious, and there is no way to fight it (because they are the arbiters of what is fair) & keep what you have. Pay, it, all, or you're done.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:55 | Link to Comment LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture

I know the fix is in and usury is terrible. I only borrow what I can afford to pay back immediately now -  but I also understand that's not feasible for many to do that it was the same for me in the past. Now days though I would rather have an older vehicle or live without things rather then going into debt.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:34 | Link to Comment Cannon Fodder
Cannon Fodder's picture

Make enough laws and sooner or later everyone is a criminal... it's the criminalization of every day life....

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:45 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

It's actually the butcher lobbyists who won that one...


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:01 | Link to Comment logicalman
logicalman's picture


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:00 | Link to Comment logicalman
logicalman's picture

Three felonies a day - every American.

Step out of line and they've got you by the short hairs.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:03 | Link to Comment Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

"The more laws, the less justice".

Cicero knew this more than 2000 years ago.

This was it's easy to criminalize anyone who you disapprove of.


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:13 | Link to Comment sdmjake
sdmjake's picture

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." -Tacitus

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:28 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"sooner or later everyone is a criminal"

Well, as the "law" for the poor sees it perhaps, but for the REAL criminals, well, no, the law doesn't see THEM as criminals...  Therefore, the logic that everyone will be seen through the law as a criminal doesn't hold up.  Just thought that I'd point this out...

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:55 | Link to Comment lex parsimoniae
lex parsimoniae's picture

all men are created equal.. some more equal than others.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 20:50 | Link to Comment FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

“The law in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.“ —Anatole France, (Jacques Anatole Francois Thibault) The Red Lily, 1894.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:38 | Link to Comment adolf
adolf's picture

The Jews know what they're doing.

They think they'll win, but in the long run they're screwed.  Eventually they'll celebrate the days of hitler as the good times.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:48 | Link to Comment Parisnights
Parisnights's picture

Go bite a bone douchebag.  Like your avatar-history will have to bend down to get a good look at you.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:52 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

4 years and almost every european jew ratted out on each other which caused them to almost be a extinct species if the war would have lasted another 4 years.

And let's just freaking forget about this jewish crap during WO2. There where shitloads of people who had a hard time and only the jews kept on complaining about it as long as it fitted into their show.
none of the survivors is still alive so it's over.










Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:01 | Link to Comment InTheLandOfTheBlind
InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

you forgot the moors.... and you probably forgot about charles martel too

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:18 | Link to Comment negative rates
negative rates's picture

Long ear plugs.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 19:44 | Link to Comment logicalman
logicalman's picture

I guess you choose ignorance over learning.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:04 | Link to Comment Milestones
Milestones's picture

And pray tell what the hell has the moors and Charles Martel of 732 AD. and repelling Islam at said location have to do with the decussion? You neglet to remind the readers that the moors were not run out of Spain for nearly 800 years after the defeat at Tours, France; Had he not done so we could well be praying 5 times a day to Mecca.

The truth, the WHOLE truth my man.                             Milestones

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:08 | Link to Comment Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

It's called the Holocau$$t for a reason. Or, there's no business like shoa business.


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:32 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Well, I suppose there may be, in this case, preferential treatment for the "homeless"... (tip: in the future if you're going to be killed then make sure it's when you're out wandering, homeless, in a desert)

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:56 | Link to Comment Satan
Satan's picture

Did I leave the gate unlocked?

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 20:29 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

You mean the ones what say:  "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!"  I'm thinking the answer is "yes!"

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 21:52 | Link to Comment Promethus
Promethus's picture

The topic was debtors’ prison. Yet nothing stops you Ernst Rohm butt-pirate types from breaking into your anti-Semitic blather and going off topic.  


Fri, 12/27/2013 - 07:41 | Link to Comment squexx
squexx's picture

Lots of activist Jew judges who rule not according to the law, but according to the Talmud or  what the rest of the Satanic Tribe tell them to do! 2% of the population, 3 of 9 are Supremes.

You figure out the math, shitstain!

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:43 | Link to Comment no more banksters
no more banksters's picture

"The language of economic cynicism takes many forms and literally overwhelms the mainstream media. Another example is the recent statement by the Greek finance minister who said directly and bluntly that auctions for the primary houses must be done (which means that many borrowers will lose their primary homes), otherwise the banks will collapse, despite that banks have received so far billions in bailouts supposedly to survive."

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:43 | Link to Comment corporatewhore
corporatewhore's picture

don't fuck with the authority.  yes sir, no sir. thank you sir, may i have another.

it's like living in a small town where the cop bully is the ultimate authority, second only to the "hanging" judge.

welcome to Amerika.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:41 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture



I'll ask your mom to take care of the kids untill you get back from prison... see ya soon baby....

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:16 | Link to Comment negative rates
negative rates's picture

Ya I shot my last load last night too.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:45 | Link to Comment farmboy
farmboy's picture

I guess prisoners also count positive for the labour statistics?

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:48 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Hell yes!!

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:51 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

library, kitchen, painters, license plate pressers,... all sorts of jobs!! ALL YOU CAN WORK FOR 1$ A DAY!

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:19 | Link to Comment negative rates
negative rates's picture

No, according to the national debt, every person would have to afford to work their regular jobs for free, for one whole year, and then worry about personal and company debt. It aint a pretty picture, so don't paint it as if it was.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:03 | Link to Comment Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

Actually the building of prisons and the recruitment of guards and other staff all add the the GNP figures.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:51 | Link to Comment JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Jails are big business in the land of the free.  It was Governor Pete Wilson who popularized the three-strikes law when the California Prison Guards Union (euphemistically named California Correctional Peace Officer's Association) raised a million dollars for him. The rest is history:

In 1980 there were 22,500 prisoners in California. The average salary for California prison guards was $14,400 a year. The state budget for corrections was $300 million per year. In the past, California schools and universities were the envy of the world. The state's economy was strong, bolstered by huge numbers of defense jobs. CCPOA was a politically minuscule organization vying for attention among the giants of fat defense contractors.

By 1996 there were more than l40,000 prisoners in California. The average salary for California prison guards is $44,000 per year (well over $50,000 with benefits)-$ l 0,000 more than the average teacher's salary. Prison guards require only a high school education and a six week training course. Most teaching jobs require at least an undergraduate degree in education. In 1993 California spent a greater portion of its state budget on prisons than it did for education for the first time (compared to as recently as fiscal year 1983/84 when California spent 3.9 percent of its budget on its prison system, and 10 percent on higher education). The state corrections budget in 1994 was $3 billion. The demise of the Cold War meant the decline of defense jobs. According to the National Commission for Economic Conversion and Disarmament, a non-profit Washington D.C. group, there has been a decline of over 750,000 defense related jobs in the last five years alone-most of them in California. But as the military-industrial complex is waning in California, the prison-industrial complex is mushrooming. In this way California's wealth now comes not only from perpetuating the misery of millions of people around the world, but also from the rigidly enforced misery of thousands of its own citizens. Between 1984 and 1994 California added a whopping 25,900 prison employees, substantially more than were added to all other state departments combined (16,000). By one estimate, hiring for prisons has accounted for 45 percent of the growth in all California jobs in that ten year period.

Now prisons are a $100 billion business in America, the incarceration rate in the land of the free is easily the highest in the world and about 220,000 prisoners are raped in prison every year. 

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:58 | Link to Comment Cannon Fodder
Cannon Fodder's picture

There is a book from the 60's called "The Report from Iron Mountain". One of the conclusions was basically that societies can't "afford" peace. Looks like they found a way to replace the "Cold War" with a "war on citizens".

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:04 | Link to Comment El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

How do I know that the privately run prison in my state is a scam?  They hired my cousin as a guard.  After he was section 8ed out of the Army.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:08 | Link to Comment Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

You can now add in all the new FEMA and DHS concentration camps just waiting for guests.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:50 | Link to Comment novictim
novictim's picture

They are coming for you, and you, and you and you....

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:54 | Link to Comment Thing1Thing2
Thing1Thing2's picture

The inmates are debtors that have been Corzined and cann't pay their bills.  

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:54 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Off topic, but if you're a black guy knocking out white people it's just shrugged off as part of the culture. If you're a white guy knocking out a black guy the fed's swoop in and call it a hate crime.

Federal authorities charge white ‘knockout’ suspect with hate crime

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:10 | Link to Comment Agent P
Agent P's picture

While I totally agree with you on the ridiculous double standard of hate crimes, I will say that anyone, regardless of color, who punches a 79 year old in the name of a game, deserves to have his testicles covered in peanut butter and be thrown naked into the ferret cage at the local PetCo for an hour before going off to jail for 10 years.

ps: Merry Christmas

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:18 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I agree 100%, however we can not have a civil society without equal application of the laws.


Merry Christmas to you too.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:25 | Link to Comment Agent P
Agent P's picture

Hear, hear! 

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 21:05 | Link to Comment FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

In what paradise has there ever been equal application of the laws?  The laws themselves are written to excuse certain groups from their application.

Or, in other words,  "we can not have a civil society"?

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:23 | Link to Comment negative rates
negative rates's picture

You got cash now?

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 21:48 | Link to Comment DosZap
DosZap's picture

Off topic, but if you're a black guy knocking out white people it's just shrugged off as part of the culture. If you're a white guy knocking out a black guy the fed's swoop in and call it a hate crime.


Saw this earlier on another site and commented, BEST keep that crap up NORTH, or there will be a lot of bodies lying around.Amazing what folks in Gun Free Zones(Blue states BS) get away with.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 01:19 | Link to Comment litemine
litemine's picture

Ya, a 27 year old, breaking the jaw of a 79 year old.  I hope that if/when this guy ever gets out of Prison, he has to use a tampon to contol the body fluids from soiling his shorts. There is no right in what he did. Including posting his thoughts while committing this crime of Hate. Self inflicted stupidity.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 06:28 | Link to Comment the0ther
the0ther's picture

Cannot down vote you enough. You're retarded for defending a coward punched an old man. Go fuck yourself. Hope you're the next one to get knocked out.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:58 | Link to Comment Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

I owe, I owe, so off to jail I go,

My ass will hurt, my mouth will blow, I owe, I owe.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:58 | Link to Comment Heroic Couplet
Heroic Couplet's picture

If you're unemployed or underemployed, you should be in a Republican politician's office conducting your job search. If you vote Republican, you need to haul butt and let your leaders find you a job. Then if you never find another job, you never leave the Republican's office.


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:06 | Link to Comment logicalman
logicalman's picture

The 'people' who create debt based money are the ones should be behind bars (or maybe decorating lamp posts)

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:11 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

The Kleptoligarchy will not be denied.

The banks and corporations want your assets and your servitude.

I'd wager the ink isn't dry on the plan to arrest people who don't buy an Unaffordable Care Act plan or pay the tax; and put them to work in a corporate prison making catheters, syringes, and the like.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:09 | Link to Comment the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

what is this the 1700's?

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:18 | Link to Comment Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

1700s with iPads and plastic food.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:46 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

AND Obamacare!  The "best" of ALL worlds! </sarc>

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 20:33 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?"

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:15 | Link to Comment css1971
css1971's picture

um, debt is just a banker's book keeping entry. Literally created from nothing, so people going to jail literally for nothing.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:46 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"so people going to jail literally for nothing"

No they are not, they're going to jail for NOT going along with the instructions of supporting the banksters with a lavish lifestyle!  Folks really need to understand how bad things would look if these poor banksters would end up on the streets, it would be pathetic!

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:25 | Link to Comment youngman
youngman's picture

"Apparently having 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of its prisoners simply isn’t good enough for neo-feudal America."

in other countries they kill you.....they don't put you in a prision or if they do you die in there real fast....that is why ours is so high of a percentage

I am all for debtors prisions.....make them do some productive work to cover the costs...

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:38 | Link to Comment Milestones
Milestones's picture

You have 1) spent little or no time in the slam or2) ya didn't learn a frriggin thing.        MIlestones P.S. I've done both, especially the learning.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 19:51 | Link to Comment logicalman
logicalman's picture

Young men rarely think clearly.

You would be a case in point.

If brains were dynamite, I doubt you'd have enough to blow your hat off.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 21:08 | Link to Comment FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Which countries are that, that kill you?

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:30 | Link to Comment Nue
Nue's picture

A few weeks or so ago I got a call from one of our loan officers who was having trouble getting a persons credit report printed for a Lawyer loan ( FYI: A loan taken out by a lawyers client in their name but underwtitten by the lawfirm). While fixing the issue I got to look at this persons credit report. In 2008 this person signed up for verizon and defaulted on something a few hundred dollars. In 2009 they went back to Verizon got another account again defaulting on the debt, and did the same all the way up to 2013. Each time Verizon gave this person a new account while adding penality and interst to the old accounts. This puzzled the hell out of me until I recognized the business model: Payday Lending. When you get down to it these courts are essentially acting on the same priciple as well. Create a debt and when the debtor can't pay add fee's penalities and then add new debt on top. The mainstreaming of what used to be fringe finanicing models is another sign of the breakdown of the overall monetary system by the endless debt being created by the Federal Reserve.  

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:40 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

If I ever see a Verizon office on fire I WON'T be calling it in.  (no cell phone due to their shitty business practices [no, I never missed any payments; and, I don't like third-parties in on my conversations- yeah, NSA, you're doing a FINE job of killing businesses- I'm kind of in with you on this!]; so, I won't be able to call the fire department)

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:56 | Link to Comment logicalman
logicalman's picture

If money is debt, how do you pay off a debt with the aforementioned money??

Just a thought.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 01:10 | Link to Comment litemine
litemine's picture

Fiat Currency like the $US.  is not Money. It is a debt based piece of Paper, controled by a Private Bank, the FED.

Wait till the Banksters decide to call in most Loans, removing this Paper from curculation. Then you will see a scramble, with no $US. to pay off mortages car loans etc.......then the real transfer of wealth will occur.


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 16:33 | Link to Comment kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Back in the mid-nineties I told my friends and family that this would happen in more than ways than one.

Especially egregious is that the courts and jails tack on fees, not just fines, to ones "sentence." They then hit you with exorbitant interest and then when you don't/can't pay, they jail you again.

Personal experience: In the early 2000's my sister-in-law was jailed for a weekend in a trumped up charge of violating some order related to her custody battle. She was hit for something like a $100 in "fees." Though she was not found guilty of a crime and the judge even scolded the local "extractors" for the bogus arrest, she was REQUIRED to pay the fees--they're "fees" not fines. A few months later she was pulled over some 60 mile away and arrested again for not paying the "fees," which she had. Clerical error it turns out, but, you guessed it, more "fees" to that extraction zone.


"Violate your oath, and feed the guillotine."

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:11 | Link to Comment Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

"I am all for debtors prisions."   ok, but everyone gets treated the same.  That way Corzine would be in the slammer for the rest of his unnatural life, sharing a cell with Shitavious and Lamar.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:12 | Link to Comment CvlDobd
CvlDobd's picture

After WFC stole all my clients in 6/12 and fired me in 12/12 I still have not found a job. I've had two interviews and one was for a tire technician on 18 wheelers at a Love's Truck stop.

One day in Spring of 2013 I was riding my motorcycle on a backroad in NC and passed an unmarked cop and got a ticket for a victimless act. Yeah uh, I can't afford it and haven't paid it. NC is pissed and I have a warrant out but paying a traffic fine is a lower priority to me than rent and food. I'd love to get rid of the phone but I'm not sure how an employer would get in touch with me in a timely manner or view me if I didn't have a contact number.

Ah, this is the life! Feels like the American Dream is in full bloom in my backyard! Fucked by a bank and screwed by the government. Sounds about right, no?

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:16 | Link to Comment buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

ask deadbeat baby daddy about debtor prison

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:36 | Link to Comment Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

Since nobody is taking any action in spite of being ass fucked for 5+ years now ----  how about doing this:

get online and order a dozen things you do not need or want - then when they arrive at your home keep them one day - then contact the retailer and tell them you have changed your mind - nothing fits properly - most retailers have a return policy on online purchases

if enough people do this these retailers will be crushed - and possibly put out of business. 

fuck them all - do your bit to take down this beast

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 11:29 | Link to Comment Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Why crush the retailers? Many support the problem, but not out of complicity, but through coercion.


Now I will agree that some large corporate retailers support the problem. Those may be appropriate targets. But while they have your credit, your capital, they are earning interest.


In my opinion the best way to attack the Beast is refuse to play the game and opt out. If you can only lose then why play the game?


Buy as little as possible. Do not invest in the Corporate Frauds (Stocks, Bonds, etc.). If you have a business then close it. Fire your employees. Let them create a further drain through collecting Unemployment.


Buy only that which is absolutely necessary for your, and your loved ones', survival.


How many of you bought into the lie of Christmas this year? How much extra food did you buy? How many gifts did you buy and did you give?


How many of you are planning to Party for New Years? How much currency, Yellen Bucks, do you intend to spend?




There is this gal who used to live next door. I have wrote about her before. She generally has no money. (She spends it frivolously, as fast as she gets it.)


Yesterday she comes over because she wanted me to be her escort while she was going to buy some Fireworks. Her Inlaws, Husband, and children are going out to the desert to ride Motorbikes and Dune Buggies...and shoot off Fireworks this time.


I am glad that I went along. The guy looked a little dangerous. AND SHE IS SUCH A CHILD. But he offered her about $100 worth of Fireworks for $30. Earlier she had told me that she had $20 allocated for the Fireworks.


But she wanted Candy. (That was $5...which I paid.) Then she wanted to buy a $5 Lottery Ticket..after I paid for the Candy. I told her, "No way." She did not buy that. I'd have been really pissed off AT HER, and at the clerk and I do a lot of business at that store.


The point is that she had the money to make the deal fly. He wanted $30 for all or nothing. She paid it. If she had spent her money on her Candy and her Lottery Ticket then she would not have had the CASH.


(If she had passed then I'd have bought it. Of course I like Black Powder which can be used for other survival.)


The point is that 2014 is going to be a lot worse than 2013. Do not spend your money frivolously. Boycott the Corporate Stores.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:44 | Link to Comment Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

If you owe the governmetn go to jail. But they do give you $20/day towards your fines (depending on your locale). 


Owe child support? A Superior Court Judge, in NJ, can put you in the county jail, indefinitely, until he decides to let you out. Oh and, BTW, there is a work release program in the county jail where they pay you about $1.25/day for sorting recyclables at the county landfill. If you do that, the judge is more likely to release you sooner. Right? 


Debtor's prison? We have forced labor in NJ. 

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:49 | Link to Comment gearbaby
gearbaby's picture

America...criminals run the system. I'm leaving for greener pastures...


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 18:41 | Link to Comment Cannon Fodder
Cannon Fodder's picture

Doesn't Ecquador have a huge gang problem? Doesn't seem like the safest place.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 21:50 | Link to Comment FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

America has a bigger gang problem.  It's called Washington, DC and Wall St.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 07:28 | Link to Comment squexx
squexx's picture

No, America has a TRIBE problem. There's a reason they're called, "The Satanic Tribe!" 2% of the population, 3 members of the Supreme Court, most of the Obama Cabinet, Wall St, the media, etc...

That is the REAL problem in the USA!!!!!!!!

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:51 | Link to Comment logicalman
logicalman's picture

Some people think slavery was abolished!


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 17:53 | Link to Comment monad
monad's picture

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 18:10 | Link to Comment el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo's picture

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 19:02 | Link to Comment Parrotile
Parrotile's picture

Just read the linked article: but be certain to take your blood pressure medications well before!

Hardly a paragon of impartial, or even safe, "Criminal Justice" is it.


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 19:21 | Link to Comment dunce
dunce's picture

It is worse than this report. A single mother got nailed for DUI, the standard is very low now. At court she faced jail time and her child going into the foster care system unless she pleaded guilty. This is a standard practice now, pay up or lose custody of your children. The cost to the state for foster care is not counted.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 19:35 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

We all live in jail. Some of us have better cells then others. Since the bars go up as you enter each individual country on Earth, we learn to play by different sets of rules. We are robbed every day. We watch the signs to make sure we aren't violating a rule, though the authorities admit there are so many laws, we all violate some law all the time. Woe if you travel out of your comfort area. 

Tyranny surrounds us, yet we listen to the lies of State and convince ourselves we have it better than THAT guy! The only freedom we have is in our own minds, and we have to fight through the fog to find it.

We seem to enjoy slavery, especially if we get enough perks. In reality, people have been so divorced from liberty, the real thing scares the hell out of them.

Happy holidays all.


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 19:36 | Link to Comment idontcare
idontcare's picture

...and soon, people who fail to pay for medical insurance will be seen as tax cheats (commiting tax fraud) and sentenced to prison when they can't pay the penalties for not adhering to the edicts of Obamacare.   Should make for some nice profits in CXW (Correcitons Corp Amer).

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 20:05 | Link to Comment besnook
besnook's picture

goddamned slaves won't comply. they have to be flogged to keep the others in line. things will be much better for you if you just do as you are told. the new america. god love it. USA! USA! USA!

the ownership culture is alive and well in the usa. do what your owners tell you to do and don't complain about it like good little sambos.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 21:16 | Link to Comment tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

this is nazi horseshit.....never trust your life to some backwoods southern lawyer....

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 23:24 | Link to Comment yogibear
yogibear's picture

The oligarchs/banksters will have free labor for years from those in debtor's prison.

Seems like some some good old fashioned mob justice is needed on Wall Street, in the Hamptons and Washington DC.

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 07:04 | Link to Comment dreadnaught
dreadnaught's picture

it probably cost 10x the amout to incarcerate and feed a private prison-and how can you get out of debt while in prison?

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