I say “falsely” because the money collected from the poor guy usually does not go to his kid or even to his mother. It just supports the welfare-state bureaucracy. These guys do not have the money to hire a defense lawyer, which they should be given when jail is the cost of losing the case. When corporations are unable to pay their debts, they can take bankruptcy. But a man can never get an alleged “child support” debt forgiven or reduced, even if he is out of a job, penniless, homeless, medically incapacitated, incarcerated, can’t afford a lawyer, serving in our Armed Forces overseas, is not the father, or never owed the money in the first place. The whole idea that a poor man is expected to support two households, including one with a child he never sees, is contrary to common sense and to all human experience. In many cases, DNA investigations revealed that the poor guy is not the father of the kid in the first place.
Professor Ann Cammett, an expert on incarcerated parents who owe child support, says, “We have zero evidence that it works. If the goal of the child support system is to get support for children, parents can’t do that if they’re incarcerated.” I agree, and think that America needs to change our current child support laws so that we can abolish debtors’ prisons once and for all.
Listen to the radio commentary here: