ACLU accuses Ohio courts of enacting ‘debtors’ prisons’

Raw Story

A report by the American Civil Liberties Union has accused courts in Ohio of jailing indigent defendants for not being able to pay court fines, an apparent revival of the 19th century practice of “debtors’ prisons.”

According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the organization named seven courts in the state in its report (PDF), compiled over the course of 2012.

“Today across Ohio, municipalities routinely imprison those who are unable to pay fines and court costs despite a 1983 United States Supreme Court decision declaring this practice to be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution,” the ACLU’s report said.

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