Saturday, April 05, 2014

Debtors prison for unemployed dads

A New Jersey newspaper reports:
Back in December over 90,000 people in New Jersey saw an end to their unemployment with the expiration of federal emergency benefits. This was the highest share of any state. Another 89,000 New Jersey residents are also set to lose their benefits during the first six months of 2014 as 63 weeks of unemployment is shrinking to 26 according to a report published by the House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee.

For the Bergen County Jail this means big business.

In Bergen County being unemployed may get you thrown in jail. Bergen County residents who are jobless and have fallen behind on child support or alimony payments face indefinite incarceration in the Bergen County Jail’s “Work Release” program.

Brought before a judge every two weeks unemployed parents incarcerated in the “work release” program are required to report their efforts in finding a job. Being unemployed in Superior Court in Bergen County is considered to be by choice and puts you in contempt of court.

For the long term unemployed this may mean a long term in jail.
Some day this will be seen as barbaric, just as slavery is seen as barbaric today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unemployed parents???
You mean divorced men.
I would love to see the stats of how many men versus women are jailed due to this law.

If I sound angry its just that I am a pissed off dude who once wanted kids and family.