When she couldn’t afford to make a payment on a bill, Jasmine Still was thrown into jail for almost a month. Her kids were forced to go into government child care while she did her time.
Allegedly, the bill she couldn’t afford to pay had to do with a previous arrest for possession of drugs. In order to make it out of jail as quickly as possible, Still was forced to plead guilty to all charges, so that she could get her children back.
Now, Still has gathered an experienced legal team around her to fight for justice in what she feels was false imprisonment. According to reports, hundreds of people are jailed on a daily basis for not being able to pay their bills. Still’s lawyers call this action illegal and immoral.
The people who are being reprimanded for not having enough money in their wallets end up facing a slew of other issues, such as having their children taken from them, because the government sees them as criminals and not individuals who simply do not have enough money.
Jasmine Still hopes that by fighting the legal system, she will be working to get justice not only for herself, but for all the other individuals who have been forced into prison for not paying. She believes that it is an epidemic which needs to be remedied as quickly as possible in order for people’s lives to not be turned upside down over a small payment.
While people are clearly expected to pay their bills on time, this story brings up an issue that not many people think about: what happens if someone is physically unable to make the payment necessary on a bill? Do they deserve to go to jail, or should they be given a grace period that allows them some extra time to find the money that they owe?