Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Debtors Prison System Resurrected From The Grave

Update about the revival of the debtors prison in America

Debtors prisons were abolished
on the federal level in 1833.
In Accomack County, VA it took until 1849.
Michael Edwards
Activist Post

Debtors prisons have a sordid history that was thought to be best left behind in Medieval Europe and in Charles Dickens' fictionalized accounts of the 19th-century hellholes of Victorian England.

However, debtors prisons were also widespread in the United States, and stories of the conditions in New York's debtors prisons could make one question if repayment of debts was really the purpose; violent criminals were much better clothed and fed.  In fact, history shows that terror and slavery have always had a close relationship with debt, and it follows a path from the Romans right through to 17th-century England, and into America from English common law.  However, America chose to abolish her debtors prisons a full 36 years before England - first in New York in 1831, and by 1833 most of America had followed.(1)

But now they are back.

Fortunately, stories like that of breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay being thrown in prison for a $280 medical bill (sent in error) went viral.  It has brought much-needed attention to the insanity of reinstating the concept of debtors prisons. Nevertheless, despite still being illegal, debtors prisons are continuing their comeback for increasingly less severe violations. This can only happen if ignorance of the law prevails. With a worsening economy, and the growth of government power, now is the time to learn about this issue and speak out against an outdated and deplorable practice.

An article that appeared back in March of 2011in the Star Tribune from Minnesota titled, "In jail for being in debt," exposed the growing number of citizens going to jail at the behest of banks and a welcoming judicial system. They wrote:
It's not a crime to owe money, and debtors' prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found. (emphasis added)



In our modern era of debt servitude, a PR Push has been designed to reintroduce a serious discussion of debtors prisons as a sound solution. What goes beyond alarming is that the full-fledged return of debtors prisons might be seen as appropriately terrifying, as well as a profitable investment opportunity and a politically sound decision to be made by state governments struggling with their own looming bankruptcies, and a Federal government struggling politically with the concept of a jobless recovery that refuses to materialize.

A de facto debtors prison has already been largely accepted in the case of "deadbeat" parents when a failure to pay child support puts them in civil contempt of court.  It is this civil contempt charge that has taken on an expanded definition to include those who owe for much smaller infractions.

When a court order to pay a debt is issued and ignored, it then qualifies as a civil contempt of court.  At that point, the judge becomes a literal dictator with the ability to imprison a person indefinitely for the violation.  The Constitution explicitly prohibits incarceration for failure to pay debts, but it is the violation of a court order that gives judges free rein to impose draconian punishments.  In this way, an end-run around the Constitution can become frighteningly commonplace.(2)

This situation has finally begun to draw the attention of the ACLU and the Brennan Center for Justice who see the illegality of debtors prisons, as well as the false presumption that such incarceration could even generate revenue.
"It's a waste of taxpayer resources, and it undermines the integrity of the justice system," Carl Takei, staff attorney for the ACLU's National Prison Project, told FoxNews.com.

"The problem is it's not actually much of a money-making proposition ... to throw people in jail for fines and fees when they can't afford it. If counties weren't spending the money jailing people for not paying debts, they could be spending the money in other ways."

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's School of Law released a "Tool Kit for Action" in 2012 that broke down the cost to municipalities to jail debtors in comparison with the amount of old debt it was collecting. It doesn't look like a bargain. For example, according to the report, Mecklenburg County, N.C., collected $33,476 in debts in 2009, but spent $40,000 jailing 246 debtors -- a loss of $6,524. (Source)
Coupled with courts ignoring Supreme Court rulings in 1970, 1971 and 1983, the above news story also highlights the increased use of private companies who have been empowered with the authority to arrest, incarcerate and extract whatever fines they are able to. This led to one judge calling it an "extortion racket."
Some 15 private companies have emerged to run these services in the South, including the popular Judicial Correction Services (JCS).

In 2012, Circuit Judge Hub Harrington at Harpersville Municipal Court in Alabama shut down what he called the "debtors' prison" process there, echoing complaints that private companies are only in it for the money. He cited JCS in part for sending indigent people to jail. Calling it a "judicially sanctioned extortion racket," Harrington said many defendants were locked up on bogus failure-to-appear warrants, and slapped with more fines and fees as a result.
America already has a record-high ratio of people in prison, with no signs of the trend reversing as private corporations like Wackenhut, referred to as a "Free Market in Human Misery," have long been enlisted to turn government directives into shareholder profit.  One might even deign to call it blatant fascism in its purest form, as government legislation leads offenders directly into private company coffers. The prison-industrial complex has already capitalized on government actions like The War on Drugs.  A prime example is how The California Correctional Peace Officers Association helped fuel the prison-building boom as a cozy relationship was established on Capitol Hill through influence peddling.(3)

Profiting from the suffering of the poor while bailouts and bonuses await the over-leveraged banksters, car companies, and state governments, sets up class warfare that is the domestic mirror of the military-industrial complex sent abroad. This domestic prison system seems to be the only industry left to build upon, and it is here that things become truly frightening.  For the federally-owned prison system complex, Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR), more incarceration means a growing supply of cheap labor and a skewing of unemployment numbers, as these inmates are often doing jobs they couldn't even find if they were job hunting on the outside.  But it is the private prison system, with its web fully woven throughout the U.S. government, that stands to profit the most from the return of debtors' admission.(4)

The largest private prison conglomerate in the U.S. is Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which controls more than 47% of all private prison and jail beds nationwide and is able to produce a double-digit annual return on new real estate investments. In the case of Ohio, which you will read about below, its Lake Erie Correctional Institution was sold to CCA in 2011. It was the first-ever sale of a public prison to a private firm. The 20-year contract includes a 90 percent occupancy quota requiring that Ohio -- and its taxpayers -- keep 1,530 of the 1,700 available beds occupied. (Source) Filling beds is mission #1.

Wackenhut (now subsumed into G4S, the largest security company in the world) is another of these mega private prison companies, and was started by an FBI agent, George Wackenhut, who is famous for developing millions of dossiers on America's "potential subversives" in the sixties. He was exposed as being an integral player within the shadow CIA.(5)

These major security conglomerates are at the top of a growing pyramid of for-profit, international detention center operators that has Wall Street giants like Goldman Sachs simply fawning over the solid, long-term investment potential. Similar to war, when there is a profit to be made off of incarceration, only more incarceration can be expected to follow. And that is exactly what we see, as incarceration rates have gone up 500% in the last 30 years.

However, the Constitution still exists, and the ACLU and other advocates of justice are increasing efforts to raise awareness that the practice of debtors prisons must never be allowed to fully resurrect itself from the past. Studies indicate that there is work left to do:
The ACLU found that seven out of 11 counties they studied (in Ohio) were operating de facto debtors' prisons, despite clear "constitutional and legislative prohibitions." Some were worse than others. In the second half of 2012 in Huron County, 20 percent of arrests were for failure to pay fines. The Sandusky Municipal Court in Erie County jailed 75 people in a little more than a month during the summer of 2012. The ACLU says it costs upwards of $400 in Ohio to execute a warrant and $65 a night to jail people.

[...]

More recently in Colorado, the state ACLU completed a report on "pay or serve" programs throughout the state. In the case of Wheatridge and Northglenn counties, the penalty was one day in the clink for every $50 owed; in Westminster, every offender got an automatic 10 days in jail.

The report also found that one jail racked up more than $70,000 in costs for incarcerating 154 people over a five-month period in 2012 -- and only managed to collect $40,000 in overdue fines and fees in that time. 
This is, therefore, not only an illegal system - it is a broken one, at least for taxpayers and the surrounding society in which they live.

Reform advocates are proposing the following solutions:
  1. Courts should investigate whether or not a person has the ability to pay. If not, community service may be considered as a form of payment.
  2. Judges must be made aware that they have the ability to waive fines and fees.
  3. Courts must properly determine if incarceration would impact current employment; thwart obtaining a job being imminently sought; and understand that extended incarceration would affect chances at future employment. (Statistics quoted by the article above show that 60 percent of those imprisoned are still out of work 1 year later.)
  4. Abolish or severely restrict the farming out of collections and legal power to private companies.
  5. The Supreme Court must continue educating judges and personnel on the statutes and constitutional restrictions of collecting fines and fees, as they have begun doing in Ohio, issuing "bench cards" as a quick reference.
  6. The court must establish a willful refusal to pay, prior to imposing any sentence. Jail time must be given a per diem dollar credit. 
  7. Courts must provide a clearly worded, printed document to the accused which states their rights; this information also should be made available on court webpages.
  8. All who have been wrongfully incarcerated must immediately receive retroactive credit. Additional fees incurred as the result of illegal arrests and warrants must be canceled. 
To read more about the personal stories of those who have been victimized by the system currently in place in Ohio, as well as additional suggestions for reform, please see the ACLU's report 24-page report "The Outskirts of Hope." as well as The Brennan Center's 38-page "Toolkit for Action."

And please share this information to ensure that people everywhere learn about laws and policies in their own respective states and counties that could blindside the unaware and lead to an unexpected detention in debtors prison.

Do you have your own personal story that you would like to share? Please add to the comment section below, or contact me directly: michael (at) activistpost.com

Other Articles Cited:

1. Jill Lepore, "I.O.U. - How We Used to Treat Our Debtors," The New Yorker (April 13, 2009): 35.
2. Wendy McElroy, http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2229
3. Seth Sandronsky, http://www.counterpunch.org/sandronsky05032005.html
4. Christian Parenti, http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=852
5. John Connolly, "Inside the Shadow CIA," SPY Magazine (September, 1992): Volume 6.

Recently from Michael Edwards:

Updated 12/26/2013



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40 comments:

Ben said...

in addition to all our manufacturing jobs being outsourced outside the country and most jobs no longer even paying a sustaining wage; this country is becoming more fascist and totalitarian all the time. i encourage all young men and women to refuse military service. this evil system is unworthy of your protection and allegiance.

Activist said...

Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately, the military mission is being completely warped. The military man or woman is normally a brave soul, but they are trained to be completely non-thinking. When the leaders become corrupt and totally criminal, then so too right down the line. And, I agree, the state of the military and what they are currently supporting should be refused.

Cheryl Meril said...

This is a clear path of the future. I witnessed how this is done. I was literally set up and harassed by cyber stalkers with a big brother mindset into filing a lawsuit in San Diego for defamation and emotional distress. (I'm from San Francisco). The harassment happened over 3 years and continues to this day. I was a singer trying to start a career back then.

The cyberstalker dumped his attorney who knew he was guilty and went directly to Judge Robert Longstreth with his perjurious claims in another jurisdiction where the suite was filed. The judge was brutally political and acted as the Defendant's attorney since he was in pro per. The judge threatened me with consequences for my lawsuit and demanded I withdraw everything after I refused to remove the case to his court.

After I dismissed the case due to an additional person I didn't have a DOES for, I was further "punished" by a court ordered judgment to pay his attorney's fees. Yet this man is guilty! He is still harassing me and my busineses and I have new evidence of that fact. It was a cyberstalking operation.

The gov't essentially used criminal cyber stalkers to provocateur and set me up to file a lawsuit to financially benefit the local legal community. The judges acted brutally towards me as a notary public and legal document assistant, simply because another person was involved in the dispute. They issued sanctions over a discovery request of $2,400 and legal fees for a man largely in pro per, in the thousands of dollars.

It is clear I was set up by a criminal court system in San Diego. Judge Longstreth is now in the family court division in San Diego. This was criminal as this judge envisioned severe consequences for my filing a lawsuit against the defendant. They set up a "secret off calendar" hearing a month after the case was dismissed to award legal fees in a court judgment.

I recently won a judgment in San Francisco for $25,000 against another cyber stalker who also set me up as a big brother kind of operation. These cyber stalkers are acting as provocateurs on behalf of the government to imprison and disarm Americans. The gov't is criminal. The gov't is clearly acting in a criminal manner with visions of debtor prisons for judgments. This is a dictatorship of judges forming.

Activist said...

Sorry for the VERY late response. Thanks for sharing your story. You said it perfectly: A dictatorship of judges. Be well -- Michael Edwards

Cheryl Meril said...

Thanks Michael, this is scary stuff. These judges are really doing whatever they want.

Activist said...

Thank you for the comment Cheryl. Have to keep an eye on these judges -- there is a lot of money at stake, and we know what that can lead to. -- M.E.

Cheryl Meril said...

Another element to all this is that corporations are obtaining cheap labor from prison occupants at 25 cents an hour. Debtors prisons arising forces people into slave labor into these systems.

Instead of shipping American jobs overseas, corporations see it even more profitable to use prison labor. This is a sad day in America how we're all being manipulated. Sounds like Nazi Germany all over again.

Activist said...

Yes, exactly. So, naturally, there would be an incentive to increase the prison population, correct? And so we see incarceration rates that are the highest in the world.

Thanks again. M.E.

Anonymous said...

How can you not mention the war on drugs in this article? Its the bread,butter,meat AND potatoes of the prison industrial complex as we all know.

Get caught with 'too much dope' and you will do 30 years of slave labor (depending on which judge you get or what state you live in).

Anonymous said...

Your a complete idiot!!!! And no need to thank me

Activist said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The footnoted text says that debtors' prisons were abolished by 1833. But the sign in the graphic says that there was a remodel in 1842 for it to serve as a debtors' prison.

It's well away from the point of the essay, but as a point of historical accuracy, when did that practice really cease?

Mike said...

Here in Clark County Washington, where right on the courthouse steps a plaque declares the county to be under maritime law, all the judges on the county bench are vested investors in the private jail labor setup that's going on and for each county jail inmate that corporation sees something like $75 per inmate per day! One would think there to be a conflict of interest somewhere in there, would they not? Not under maritime law I am told... The system has reached the point of being the most dangerous "thing" for every citizen's well being! I naively use to think telling the truth in court or to a cop (on misdemeanor crap) was noble. HAH! It's moronic in the first degree! Don't even say "hello" to a cop, it gives them reason to reply while at the same time suspect you for whatever and hem you up. Costing at the minimum your time or potentially you doing time! It is us vs. them in their world people need to start looking at it through the same goggles!

Anonymous said...

I am on disability, I owe a lot in past medical bills. I am being harassed on a more than daily basis by one collection agency. I am about to have even more surgery. I do not have the money to pay them at this time and will not be able to scape together enough to pay them for a while and I worry all the time about when they'll be able to haul me off to jail for it. At the rate this country is going, with privatizing prisons on the agendas all over the place,I have no doubt that we'll have debtors prisons in no time if we as a nation do not stand up and fight back.

Anonymous said...

What is happening in this country is pitifully horrifying. But what's even more outrageous is still the public's overall ignorance or apathy to this growing menace. The people posting on this blog are smart, but most Americans are dumber than a box of rocks!

Anonymous said...

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted--and you create a nation of law-breakers--and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."-Atlas Shrugged
I know I broke at least 10 traffic laws today.If you can't pay, the fines easily qudrupple by the time it goes to collections and you can now be arrested for even riding a bycicle while suspended, more fines, more arrests because you have to travel somehow..another slave for the courts in perpetuity. That's what you get when you give up your rights for privileges just to be "safe". You get neither liberty nor safety.

Anonymous said...

http://shanghaiist.com/2010/07/26/chinas_middle_class_will_reach_700.php

China's Middle Class to be 700 million by 2020, while our USA middle class has been shrinking since the 1980s. USA population is now 330 million. The working, professsional, and skilled people who compose the Middle Class are the economic engine of any country. This is why China is growing their middle class. But why are we shrinking our middle class?

Anonymous said...

It's not all a bed of roses for China, their pop. is not growing and they are using their resources, ie Water at an unsustainable rate. Rivers and aquifers are being depleted. Poor agri practices are leading to soil depletion which leads to poor crop yields, dust bowls and crop failures. This leads to social unrest. Hungry people are easily pissed off. This will escalated and China has WAY to many people to be dealt with in a reasonable fashion, so expect some form of government "remediation" of the situation.....

Anonymous said...

ALEC has been working with state legislatures to develop model legislation aiding the private prison corporations. Once enough of the population is in confinement, you will see a return of jobs to America. CCA will be taking the place of the Chinese factory dormitory.

Anonymous said...

Back in 2010, the ACLU put out a great report on this which includes recommendation. More specifically, their analysis deals with usury fines charged by the courts which, many times, are then managed by for profit private probation corporations and how it all spirals out of control to the detriment of those caught up in this web of greed and incompentence and to the average taxpayer who foots the bill for it all.

IN FOR A PENNY
The Rise of America’s New Debtors’ Prisons

http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/InForAPenny_web.pdf#page=82

Anonymous said...

Anonymous May 17 2011, don't insult rocks, they are neither dumb or evil.
Drugs are in the food, air and water or at least toxic chemicals. This seems to domesticate the population and ready them for the slaughter. But everything that goes around comes around. With a militant culture, drugged, domesticated and obviously slowed to a crawl it is taking longer than usual to stir up a revolution but a revolution is coming. When people realize that their bellies are empty and there is no hope in sight and they have nothing left to loose...
Well welcome violent revolution ala French style. It will be easily determined that those with lots of money are the criminals and like ants overtaken a victim much large than itself, the ants will devour them.
Heads will be rolling and the time is soon.

Anonymous said...

How to stop a Debt Collection Agency: You must respond to the first letter they send you that gives you 30 days to deny their claim. Answer that first letter with a Certified, Return Receipt letter that denies their "Presentment". Simply say you do not owe them any money and that they must prove that a signed contract exists between yourself and "XYZ" credit agency. They can not do this. When you challenge their Presentment all collection activity must stop until they meet YOUR DEMAND. Collection agencies are a third part to the debt. They have no contract with you UNLESS you dishonor their Presentment by not answering their letter. Then you enter into an IMPLIED Contract and they have you.

Anonymous said...

Cheryl beat me to it with a comment above: I was going to say they want MORE FREE LABOR in their for-profit 1%-ized "PRISONS" (I say "1%-ized" instead of the euphemism the 1% invented: "PRIVATIZED"..."privatized sounds like some kindly old man got it, doesn't it? we should all say "1%-ized" instead of "privatized" from now on). The 1% need MORE FREE LABOR. The 99% are like animals to them. Remember Kissinger called the 99%: "USELESS EATERS". useless eaters = free labor via rigged "judicial" system

Mr. Mcgranor said...

I am all for Debt Prison's.

Anonymous said...

This site needs some Marc Stevens.

Hide Behind said...

Debt been in and out whole life and at present just hanging on slightly above debtor status.
One mistake or unexpected cost and who knows.
Paid all lifes bills and will continue but luck and many many other factors came into play, as no matter shtf times it was mainly a loving wife and family that carried the way.
There are crimes and then there is corruption of the legal system.
When was last one heard ofv a judge going to prison; What about a district attorney for metro or county . Attorney Generals as we have had a couple a fed level that hangingwould be too good a penalty.
Why do those in power, political, financial, military and bureaucratic positions recieves such light penaltys for corruption that if in a normal course of events should be. Called crimor nal behavior if by Joe schmo who whould never see daylight once in system.
Debtors prisons have been enjoying around, especially throughout rural America You especially when there used to be every state had privatized Justice of Peace positions.
Hell a town of 50 would appoint one and god help the tourist driving through..
So much a day until fine paid and as with my now deceased step fathr r so much a day for everyday you worked on the gangs in Arkansas. COME NEED OF FARMER LOGGERS OR HIGHWay crews the cops got busy and son the cells filled up and the local county city or state officials got to supply the head. In Washington state clear into 50-60s Justice of peace and local cops never let a fine get to a real judge;, they just kept offering to lower bailw till a guy could afford to walk out door.
Always with a handshake and good feelings all around andva wink of;
there would be no need for court , just a bail forfeiture would do, In cash of course.
There has never been a state or US territory that has not had corrupt prison and every one has
had corrupt judges and buisness interest at the source.
Hell in Southern states most scandals involved most of leading political including senators or governor s at one time or other.
In my case military was going to deny me a very high clearance because of the nights in itty bitty jails and fines paid for auto fights etc but after running g background through old home state county records they only found records of two WA patrol and they both reduced to a boy having a fast car but good at heart
At wedding had both a judge and two JP's , one as witness, attending and I just casually mentioned how I appreciated their not turning in my fines and records and hell no grudges held even though a couple fines were damned high.
W evlaughed but around 8 years later she
n state began an investigation had all my old tickets and military records delivered to State prosecutors office.
They all three got a fine of each $500 and no jail or loss of pensions.
I oft wonder why a lot of old country boys know a fuck of a lot more about how life realy is than those Artificial and politicized leave it to Beaverland drones.
Wouldn't trade for no amount.

desertspeaks said...

if the debt was a "loan" make them produce certified verification of the loan! they can't because NOT ONE BANK ON THE PLANET LOANS MONEY!
If the banks think providing false certification will work.. enter the forensic examiner! A forensic examination will PROVE the bank did NOT loan you money!
Banks create money out of thin air, on your signature! they do not loan the banks money and they don't loan the depositors money!! so where pray tell does the money come from?? NO WHERE!! IT NEVER EXISTED UNTIL YOU SIGNED THE LOAN AGREEMENT! and since the bank NEVER loaned you any money, there can't be a loan!
THAT IS FRAUD!
Even the lien against your house and or car, are FRAUDULENT LIENS! and the bank KNOWS IT!
IF EVERYONE ON THE PLANET DEFAULTED ON THESE SO CALLED LOANS, the only thing the banks would be out, would be the cost of the check!
That's right, just the cost of the check!!! they never lose money, it's all a scam!
everything you think you know is A LIE! perpetuated by the banks partner in crime, THE FEDERAL/STATE/COUNTY/CITY governments!
Even the so called national debt is based entirely on FRAUD! there was never ANYTHING loaned to the government! NOT ONE PENNY! The US Govt wants to borrow money, they print bonds, those bonds are then handed to the federal reserve "a private for profit corporation" who then send a message to the US TREASURY to print money... only a very small portion of ALL MONEY IN THE WORLD exists in a physical form.. 98% of all "so called" money today, is DIGITAL!
The federal reserve types out a few numbers on a keyboard and POOF, they create money out of thin air! and loan NOTHING to the US Govt, AND HAVE THE AUDACITY TO CHARGE INTEREST ON NOTHING!

IT IS ALL A SCAM!

Anonymous said...

Actually, debtor's prison has been going on for decades...it is routinely foisted on men in divorce court. Alimony and child support can be set at levels in excess of a man's net income. Can't afford to pay it? Off to jail he goes.....

David said...

People....have you heard of being judgement proof ? Being judgement proof makes the creditor dead... At this point, just file for ch-13 or 7.....end of story.

paschnn1 said...

In light of the (nearly) global Central banking system, recent and on-going attacks against Christmas by AIPAC and it's minion organizations, predatory usury running rampant with the blessing of "our" Executive, legislative and judicial branches, it's becoming ironically clear that in order to live a Christian life more closely in compliance with His written word, one will soon have to emigrate to a Muslim nation.

Anonymous said...

SERCO runs the Prisons. . . . . . . .


this is nothing new.. I read about Serco a while ago after the sandy hook event, one of the crisis actors was employed by Serco.. I believe Serco is controlled by the Rothschild family..

this is a bit of info on the serco organization ..

http://www.serco.com/markets/index.asp

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/supportservices/article3809637.ece

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/health/british-company-is-awarded-contract-to-administer-health-rollout.html?hp&_r=2&

http://impeachobamatoday.blogspot.ca/2013/07/british-company-serco-is-awarded.html

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15664

http://www.ibtimes.com/inside-serco-controversial-company-hand-nearly-everything-1361509

Serco and the private companies running your country
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjnIJQZdvvI

Published on Aug 26, 2013
Serco has been labelled the "biggest company you've never heard of". It's a private company, holding a huge number of government contracts for public services -- everything from nuclear weapons defences to out of hours doctors services. Serco is a UK company but has a global reach and chances are it's running services near you.

Some sources:

Serco's UK website (for a list of what they do):
http://www.serco.com/markets/index.asp

Hansard report on Cornwall out of hours doctor Service:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmpubacc/471/471.pdf

Telegraph interview with CEO Chris Hyman:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ne...

Serco bullying whistleblowers:
http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/MPs-s...
http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/commissio...

Tagging fraud inquiry:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/...
http://www.theguardian.com/business/n...

Thameside prison criticism:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/20...
http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/noms/nomsnew...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23447437

Serco's Bradford school record:
http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk...

Prisoners in toilets:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/20...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politic...

Some more things we couldn't fit in:
Firing Gurkhas: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23600821

Self-harm rates in immigration centres:http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/...

Hunger strikes in Yarl's Wood immigration centre:
http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3534

Boris Bike strike:
http://news.sky.com/story/1127475/bor...

A good round up article I just found:
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2...

Anonymous said...

In another new article published within this site, a retired General has aptly stated that there must be a massive citizen march on Washington DC as well as state capitals all across this nation IF there is to be any hope of reclaiming this nation before it is too late. Clearly with the multiple and increasing flagrant violations of citizens rights, the vastly increased militarization and often horrid abuses by law enforcement against the very citizens they are paid and entrusted to protect, it has become painfully and frighteningly clear that the people of this country must take specific and credible action very quickly, lest this nation be lost entirely. I fervently pray that it's not too late to accomplish these things in a peaceful and life affirming manner in the interest of all.

Anonymous said...

"a retired General has aptly stated that there must be a massive citizen march on Washington DC as well as state capitals all across this nation IF there is to be any hope of reclaiming this nation..."

pretext..pretext...the gov (NWO elite) has been waiting and waiting...time to bring out a general or two to get our lazy asses off the couch. There must be a REASON, ffs to declare martial law, after all.

Hide Behind said...

Join the military cults of worship, volunteer to service police, teachers priest and pastors, start your own church. THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO AVOID DEBTORS PRISONS but there is truly only one way that is far greatest protection, make and save your money.

George Shaver said...

Thank you for this story about debtor's prison because America has been doing that now for years at a gradually increasing rates with nobody in media talking about it.

The last time i looked into it, The Family Courts were locking up about 500,000 Americans on a rotating basis for failure to pay child support. In other words, half million are in and out of jail for failure to pay child support with 100,000 of us in jail at any given moment. (Local County Jails)

This system is kept in place through Title IV-D matching funds paid to the States of approximately 5 billion dollars a year. The money is given at the local level with cash paid to court personnel as a reward for child support compliance.

All of this going on and when a judge was presented with a motion that could stop it, he stated that the State could not function without these Federal funds so he did not stop it regardless of how unfair and unconstitutional that it was.

Anonymous said...

Cat Stevens sung about "The Peace Train"

Well, here and now in America we have..."The Greed Train"

Everyone jump up on the Greed Train.

Doesn't matter if we are collectively running our nation into the ground, it's easy money right now.

Yes, the evil pied pipers are leading the stupid and evil right off a cliff, and unfortunately taking alot of us with them.

hp said...

I hear the neo-press gangs drumming in the distance..

Anonymous said...

What we need is a Wall St trading buddy system. Every trader would get assigned a bunch of ordinary working people and part of every profit on a trade would go to the collective. As to the loses, well the trader would be responsible for that.

keyman101 said...

You have written a great piece of journalism here Micheal! Truly this is what journalism should do - expose abuses of power in anticipation of reform by the body politic. Furthermore, you are a voice for those miserable individuals sitting in these private jails. It really is a crime to be poor in this nation - I have experienced it first hand, and only by the grace of God and a powerful lawyer that owed me a favor was I able to get the whole matter dismissed. But I spent weeks in jail with criminals on paper only and know their frustration. We are destroying the most productive members of our society!

Anonymous said...

My student loan promisory note listed 5% interest that magically became 8% upon graduation, with nine different institutions demanding minimum payments of 50.00 each. I fought the debt in court because the creditors were demanding a consolidation that changed the interest to 17%. The court found in my behalf and set a precedent. How many prisons will we need to house more non violent prisoners? How much more fear do they need to cram the demands into legislation containing the requirement of punitive proactive incarceration?

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