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NPR Investigation: Debtors Prisons Can Still Be Found07:52

This article is more than 5 years old.

Thirty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear: judges can't send someone to jail because they're too poor to pay their court fines. That would be debtors prison, and those were outlawed in the United States back before the Civil War.

But an NPR state-by-state survey found that people are still being sent to jail for unpaid fines and fees. This is an encore presentation of a report filed by NPR's Joseph Shapiro earlier this year.


This segment aired on November 26, 2014.

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