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Profit and punishment : how America criminalizes the poor in the name of justice  Cover Image Book Book

Profit and punishment : how America criminalizes the poor in the name of justice / Tony Messenger.

Messenger, Tony, (author.).

Summary

Summary:

"As a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony Messenger has spent years in county and municipal courthouses documenting how poor Americans are convicted of minor crimes and then saddled with exorbitant fines and fees. If they are unable to pay, they are often sent to prison, where they are then charged a pay-to-stay bill, in a cycle that soon creates a mountain of debt that can take years to pay off. These insidious penalties are used to raise money for broken local and state budgets, often overseen by for-profit companies, and it is one of the central issues of the criminal justice reform movement. In the tradition of Evicted and The New Jim Crow, Messenger has written a call to arms, shining a light on a two-tiered system invisible to most Americans. He introduces readers to three single mothers caught up in this system: living in poverty in Missouri, Georgia, and South Carolina, whose lives are upended when minor offenses become monumental financial catastrophes. As these women struggle to clear their debt and move on with their lives, readers meet the dogged civil rights advocates and lawmakers fighting by their side to create a more equitable and fair court of justice. Tony Messenger exposes injustice that is agonizing and infuriating in its mundane cruelty, as he champions the rights and dignity of some of the most vulnerable Americans"-- Provided by the publisher.

Item details

  • ISBN: 9781250274649
  • ISBN: 1250274648
  • Physical Description: xxvi, 244 pages ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2021.

Contents / Notes

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
By the numbers -- The poverty penalty -- Going to court -- The arrest -- Taxation by citation -- No sale of justice -- Failure to pay -- Debtors' prison -- Pay to stay -- The key to the jailhouse door -- Judges vs. judges -- Path to freedom -- The courthouse -- The capitol -- The Koch brothers meet the ACLU -- A tale of two letters -- Poverty is relative.
Subject: Poverty > Government policy > United States.
Poor > Government policy > United States.
Criminal justice, Administration of > United States.
Imprisonment > United States.
Equality > United States.

Currently available copies

  • 23 / 27 copies available at PINES

Holds

  • 0 current holds on 27 total copies.
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Athens Regional Library System:
      Athens-Clarke County Library
NONFIC 362.5561 MESSENGE
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Athens Regional Library System:
      Danielsville/Madison County Library
NONFIC 362.5561 MESSENGE
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Cherokee Regional Library:
      Dade County Public Library
362.556 MESSENG
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Coastal Plain Regional Library System:
      Cook County Library
362.5 MESSENGER, TONY
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Coastal Plain Regional Library System:
      Tifton-Tift County Public Library
362.5 MESSENGER, TONY
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Dougherty County Public Library:
      Central Branch
362.5 MESSENGE TONY
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Dougherty County Public Library:
      Tallulah Branch
362.5 MESSENGE TONY
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Flint River Regional Library System:
      Griffin-Spalding County Library
362.556 MESSENGER
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Flint River Regional Library System:
      Peachtree City Library
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Greater Clarks Hill Regional Library:
      Columbia County Library
362.55 MES
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