Thomas Barrett, destitute and living primarily off food
stamps, was arrested in 2012 for stealing a can of
beer valued at $2 and was sentenced to probation
with Sentinel Offender Services, a for-profit firm.
Despite selling his own blood plasma twice a week to
raise money, Barrett fell more than $1,000 behind in
his payments and was jailed for failure to pay.
© 2014 Jason Blalock for Human Rights Watch
Over a thousand courts in several states allow private companies to oversee probation, often with little government oversight or regulation. This report from Human Rights Watch, titled: Profiting from Probation: America’s “Offender-Funded” Probation Industry, describes these privatized probation systems, which are funded primarily through fines paid by offenders, and documents cases in which probationers were jailed when they did not pay such fines. To view the report, click here.
DATE: 2/24/13PUBLISHER: Human Rights Watch
LOCATION: New York, NY