Why are citizens charged such hefty fines?

untitledIf you are not directly affected by poverty and what comes with it, you’ll never fully understand the struggles people in our country face. The film, “To Prison For Poverty,” says being poor in America has never been a crime. If it’s not a crime, then why are citizens charged more and more and potentially spending time in jail because they can’t afford small fines or probation fees?

Hali Woods was charged an extra $10 to be added to the Judicial Correction Services because she couldn’t afford to pay her ticket in full at once. Being charge more money from private probation fees because you can’t afford to pay the fines, to begin with, doesn’t make sense to me.

I knew if you didn’t pay your fines, the county/state would charge you late fees. However, I didn’t realize how much it would affect those living in poverty because this is not an issue I had to worry about. I never grasped that they can’t afford it and could constantly be in debt.

The film has shown me how corrupt our federal system can be. Kathleen Hucks was put back on probation by the system without a judge’s ruling or court appearance 4 years after finishing probation. The system did this just to make more money off those of low income. The rich are getting richer off of the poor. Even if people are making efforts to pay off their fines and do so, they are still left with paying all of the fees. If they had the money they wouldn’t be on probation.

By Nicole Pierce

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