Locked Up In A Modern-Day Debtors’ Prison

May 1, 2013

Prisoners Exercising by Vincent van Gogh
Credit Pushkin Museum of Fine Art, Moscow, Russia

Most of us don’t expect to be sent to jail for failure to pay our parking tickets. But in several counties across Ohio, courts are jailing men and women who cannot afford to pay their fines.

Dick Gordon, host of The Story, speaks with Jack Dawley, who’s been to jail three times for failure to pay. He says he’s never seen a judge or been given any opportunity to explain to a judge that he simply cannot afford to pay.

Dawley has filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, and together they are changing what they say is an outmoded – and unconstitutional – practice.

Hear the full conversation at The Story's site. Also in this show: Christopher Cassucio, whose “Strike Debt” group is aiming to erase people’s debts, answers listener response; and Anna & Elizabeth, the guitar-and-banjo duo that makes movies called "crankies."