The hidden prison of fines and fees

Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Mark Sappenfield

“Did you know that people have to pay to go to prison? The gentleman in our story left prison with $50,000 in fines and fees. The story of his journey to finally be free of the debt is both bracing and inspiring. Now, of course I didn’t know that those imprisoned have to pay for things like phone calls to family and toothbrushes. I have never been to prison. I have never known anyone who has been to prison. The circumstances into which I was born have put me in a very different world. … For those who have never known poverty, its compounding effects can be shocking. For much of the past 40 years, local governments have used fees and fines in an attempt to finance many aspects of local governance.” (02/12/24)