Modern Day Debtor’s Prisons

Over half of local jail populations in Nebraksa's four largest counties were pretrial people—Nebraskans presumed innocent but unable to afford bail to go home The ACLU of Nebraska releases Unequal Justice report


To add insult to injury, and complimenting the reporting on the High Cost of Being Poor with Legal Aid, not just consumer debt will land poor people in jail, but so will court costs.

Nebraska courts impose monetary bail as a condition of pretrial release and fines and fees because of criminal conviction. 

In this report, the ACLU of Nebraska presents the results of its investigation into Nebraska’s modern-day “debtors’ prisons” and bail practices. The report shows how, day after day, low-income Nebraskans are imprisoned because they lack the ability to pay bail or pay fines and fees. These practices are illegal, create hardships for those who already struggle, and are not a wise use of public resources. Debtors’ prisons result in an often fruitless effort to extract payments from people who may be experiencing homelessness, are unemployed, or lack the ability to pay.

Read the full report here.


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