“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
I could be wrong, but aren't the penalties in most small crimes an either/or penalty? Ten dollars or ten days?
If you don't pay the fine, then you have made your choice.
You guys are all getting off track here (a common malady of this forum). The point of the OP (and the article I linked to) is people being incarcerated for the simple fact that they don't have the means to pay fines for simple offenses and court fees accrued due to those cases. People are being locked up just because they are poor. In all fairness I did move the discussion a little further to include all victimless crimes as Paxaeon defined better than I did. There have been cases where someone is jailed for a short period of time for a couple hundred dollar fine and when they get out they are presented a bill for food, etc. that they accrued while in jail. Guess what? they can't pay that either so back to jail they go. Does this sound like the right thing to do to you? According to the ACLU America has 5% of the worlds population and 25% of the worlds prisoners. How's it feel to be on a list with the likes of N Korea?