October 19, 2015
Catch 22

Read this entire story, then get back to me about how this is a Christian country. And don’t skip over the ads. The one below showed up in my download. Who knew Google’s algorithms had a sense of humor?

For Earl Harris, the problem was keeping up. He had a job in prison, cleaning the kitchen, but it paid only $7.50 a month — well short of the $168 the state of Missouri was billing him.

“Didn’t they know I was in prison?” he asks. “Weren’t they the ones that put me in there?”

When he got out in 2001, the unpaid amount was listed on his credit report — and pursued by an agency with the power to garnish 65 percent of his wages, intercept his tax returns, freeze his bank account, suspend his driver’s license and, if he failed to pay, lock him up again.

By then, his debt had surged to more than $10,000.

Harris entered barbering school but soon returned to drug dealing and was thrown back into prison for nearly a decade. Meanwhile, his child-support debt swelled to more than $25,000.


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at October 19, 2015 01:55 PM
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The obvious answer is to stop treating convicts as slave labor. Pay them minimum wage and apply that to their debt load.

Posted by: Nugatory on October 19, 2015 2:25 PM
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