Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

U.S. Jails Serve as “Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons”

A report released this week by the Vera Institute of Justice finds that the majority of people being held in America’s jails are the poor, those suffering from mental illness, and those with drug problems. Also, those in jail are being held, primarily, for minor offenses.

In Missouri, 15 people sued the city of Ferguson and the town of Jennings, alleging that jails there “operate as modern-day debtor’s prisons.”

Criminal justice reform was also in the spotlight on Capitol Hill where U. S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), reintroduced a bill aimed at reducing the size of the federal prison inmate population. In addition, a bipartisan coalition of U.S. senators introduced drug-sentencing legislation also aimed at reducing the federal prison populations. You can see Senator Cory Booker (D–NJ) speaking about the Smarter Sentencing Act on the Senate floor by clicking the C-SPAN link below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *