On television and in the movies, police officers read people their Miranda rights and tell them they will be provided a lawyer if they cannot afford one. But in reality, legal representation is rarely free. The Supreme Court has found the Constitution guarantees the right to counsel but allows states, in most cases, to try to recoup the cost. More than 40 do so, according to a 2022 report by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

Iowa takes these efforts to the extremes, an investigation by The Marshall Project found. Not only does Iowa impose some of the highest fees in the nation — affecting tens of thousands of people each year — it also charges poor people for legal aid even if they are acquitted or the cases against them are dropped.

Archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20240212131540/https://www.themarshallproject.org/2024/02/12/miranda-rights-indigent-defense-iowa

  • @SinningStromgald
    472 months ago

    The point of the US prison system is to keep as many people as possible incarcerated as long as possible or as often as possible. We don’t want to reform them or reintegrate them into society.

    • Lem Jukes
      122 months ago

      We had to replace slavery with somethi…. Well… still slavery but with some extra steps.

      • @[email protected]
        22 months ago

        I wonder if human labour becoming worthless due to automation will result in prison reform or if it’s more sinister and actually it’s pretty much just a scam to get government money into the hands of private businesses via lucrative contracts

    • @grue
      42 months ago

      Well yeah, because if we let them out we can’t exploit them as slave labor anymore.