UCLA faculty voice: What’s unjust about ‘work or jail’
The author highlights the concern surrounding the debtor's prison where people are given the choice between providing underpaid labor or serving jail time. The author is aware of the coercion involved in the power dynamics between the employers and the convicted.
From the UCLA Newsroom article:
Debtors’ prisons are back. The criminal justice system creates debt with tickets for quality-of-life offenses, proliferating court fees and criminal fines. Those who do not pay are threatened with jail, and this threat allows governments to extract payments from the poorest citizens even at the expense of their food, housing or other basic needs. Communities of color bear the brunt as racial inequalities in criminal justice and economic life converge. These practices burst into public view with the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and activists’ calls for change now echo widely. Justice will not be satisfied, however, if we simply replace debtors’ prisons with debt peonage. Read more.