Thomas Edsall in the NYT alleges that municipal budgets for such things as corrections and law enforcement are being balanced on the backs of poor people. Through things such as offender charges, often the people who have very little financial means are being forced to pay for their own jury trial.
"Poverty capitalism and government policy are now working on their own and in tandem to shift costs to those least equipped to pay and in particular to the least politically influential segment of the poor: criminal defendants and those delinquent in paying fines.
Last year, Ferguson, Mo., the site of recent protests over the shooting of Michael Brown, used escalating municipal court fines to pay 20.2 percent of the city’s $12.75 million budget. Just two years earlier, municipal court fines had accounted for only 12.3 percent of the city’s revenues."
Check out the whole article.
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