Why do we jail people for being poor? | Salil Dudani | TEDxStanford

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Debtors' prisons are alive and well across the country, as local governments jail people who are too poor to pay their fines and court fees. Meanwhile, half a million Americans are in jail cells only because they cannot afford to post bail. Salil tells the stories he's heard from individuals who have experienced Ferguson's debtors' prison firsthand, challenging us to think differently about imprisonment.

Salil Dudani is an investigator at Equal Justice Under Law, a civil rights organization that litigates inequalities in the criminal legal system. Before his current work, which is supported by the John Gardner Public Service Fellowship, Dudani experienced the legal system in two different roles: as a defense investigator at the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., and as a plaintiff in a racial profiling case after he was detained by D.C. police on suspicion of “terrorist activity.”

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx