I heard this in the carand wanted to share.
We've known for a long time that society fucks the poor over—bad public transportation, bank fees, rules for assistance, but there's another way a lot of people don't think about:
Our court system.
We're reading To Kill a Mockingbird in class and there's a line that always sticks out at me:
"I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system—that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality."
But it's not. Our law makers are so fucking frightened of raising taxes so instead, poor people who are already being punished by our judicial system are fucked over twice: fees and charges.
- In at least 43 states and the District of Columbia, defendants can be billed for a public defender.
- In at least 41 states, inmates can be charged room and board for jail and prison stays.
- In at least 44 states, offenders can get billed for their own probation and parole supervision.
- And in all states except Hawaii, and the District of Columbia, there's a fee for the electronic monitoring devices defendants and offenders are ordered to wear.
Want to work off your fees with a county work program? Sure, they'll just charge you 5 dollars a day. And it's a nine hour day so you know, you won't have time for an actual job to keep you fed, in a house, and safe.
Miss a payment because you need to eat? That's okay, they'll just charge you a late fee and interest...and the money can go to court room maintenance, legislative pensions, and maybe, maybe, some of it will go to victim assistance programs.
What's the point of our judicial system? More and more it seems like the answer is to punish poor people.