This letter in the February 27 New Yorker caught my eye. The author’s affiliations are not stated, though given The New Yorker’s reputation for vigorous fact-checking, I’m sure her credentials were vetted.
She says that in her “work with incarcerated women” she encounters a large segment of inmates who are serving time simply to pay off minor fines. So, if true, it seems that in 21st-Century America, we still have debtor’s prison, and money does buy better justice. How shameful!