Thu, 1 December 2016
It’s bad enough that the people being stopped for alleged traffic offenses like failing to signal a turn or having a busted brake-light in Santa Fe, TX are disproportionately African-American. It’s worse that they’re often kept in jail for weeks at a time, because they have No money to pay their fines. Investigative reporter Patrick Michels of the Texas Observer on the return of debtors’ prisons, of the sort supposedly banned by the US Constitution. A couple of lawsuits say it’s not just Santa Fe, but 15 jurisdictions in the Lone Star State which are locking people up for being poor.