Owe Money? You Might End Up in Jail
Last standing American debtors' prison, 1913 - present
NanananaNA, America, they can't do this in California, they're too busy releasing 40,000 convicted felons who we can't afford to house in prison.
Here's an idea, we can bring back the debtors prison by sealing off the borders and giving all of our rich, able-to-pay-their bills citizens one-way tickets to Canada before we do. Problem solved.
Anyway, this chick didn't go to jail because she owed money, she went to jail because she ignored court proceedings around the debt and we all know THAT can get you in trouble, depending on where you are.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
As a sheriff's deputy dumped the contents of Joy Uhlmeyer's purse into a sealed bag, she begged to know why she had just been arrested while driving home to Richfield after an Easter visit with her elderly mother.
No one had an answer. Uhlmeyer spent a sleepless night in a frigid Anoka County holding cell, her hands tucked under her armpits for warmth. Then, handcuffed in a squad car, she was taken to downtown Minneapolis for booking. Finally, after 16 hours in limbo, jail officials fingerprinted Uhlmeyer and explained her offense -- missing a court hearing over an unpaid debt. "They have no right to do this to me," said the 57-year-old patient care advocate, her voice as soft as a whisper. "Not for a stupid credit card."
It's not a crime to owe money, and debtors' prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found.
As if our justice system has nothing better to do but police private debts. Bah.