TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Brittany Sims on Mar 28, 2014

Underfunded criminal and civil courts often function as modern day "debtors' prisons," Columbia Law School professor Vivian Berger states in an opinion piece in the National Law Journal. Although the federal government abolished imprisonment for debt in 1833, Berger argues that more than one-third of the states permit incarceration of those in default of their civil obligations. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law recently wrote to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding the misuse of civil contempt to obtain repayment of private debts, calling for the abolition of debtors' prisons in their modern incarnations.