Tennessee trial court judges are the best paid in the nation after a cost of living adjustment while the taxpaying people of Tennessee don’t fare so well. The General Sessions Courts in Blount County have the highest collection rate in the state for court costs. Should court costs and fines collections be the standard measure of success?
A criminal justice system assessment look at Blount County’s use for the jail as a debtors prison.
From page 87 of the report:
“The answers to these two questions will be an indicator of how often the Blount Jail is being used as a debtors prison. Although federal imprisonment for unpaid debt has been illegal in the U.S. since 1833, this relic of the past has returned in a modern guise: probation violation. ILPP strongly finds that Blount Jail’s probation violation numbers are substantial enough, and the release of these people would ease or eliminate crowding and/or the need to build.
The federal government is taking a stronger stand on debtors prisons.
The Blount County Corrections Partnership should be looking more in depth into the use of the jail to see if anything like this may be going on.