- Stephen Papa, Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Offense: Destruction of property and resisting arrest.
- Punishment: 22 days in jail.
- About this case: After coming back from the Iraq War, Papa was unable to find a job and was homeless. In court, the judge requested $50 as a first payment, but Papa had only $25.
- Court debt: $2,600.
A yearlong NPR investigation found that the costs of the criminal justice system in the United States are paid increasingly by the defendants and offenders. Here are just some of the people we found as a part of this story.
Debtor’s prison was abolished before the civil war. Where do judges get off imprisoning the indigent?