Thursday, July 5, 2012

For-Profit Probation Companies Putting the Poor in Jail

No such thing as class warfare:
In Georgia, three dozen for-profit probation companies operate in hundreds of courts, and there have been similar lawsuits. In one, Randy Miller, 39, an Iraq war veteran who had lost his job, was jailed after failing to make child support payments of $860 a month. In another, Hills McGee, with a monthly income of $243 in veterans benefits, was charged with public drunkenness, assessed $270 by a court and put on probation through a private company. The company added a $15 enrollment fee and $39 in monthly fees. That put his total for a year above $700, which Mr. McGee, 53, struggled to meet before being jailed for failing to pay it all.
For-profit probation companies, like for-profit prisons, are as perfect a breeding ground for corruption as could possibly be imagined. (In a democratic society their very existence should be considered a form of corruption. But that's practically communistic thinking...)

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