Across the racially segregated landscape of St. Louis County, Missouri, thousands of people are routinely sent to jail because they cannot pay local court fines and fees. The vast majority of those fined are poor and are Black. In the hometown of police shooting victim Michael Brown and the surrounding municipalities, a practice with historical antecedents has become systematic: the operation of modern day debtors’ prisons. A Debtors' Prison follows two plaintiffs in an unfolding court case, Samantha Jenkins and Meredith Walker, as they describe the matrix of controls that subjected them to incarceration for being poor.
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