Is Being Poor a Crime?

A File:A debtor in Fleet Street Prison THS.jpgdeep dive into how we have been changing our laws, our police, and our courts, to treat poverty like a crime: the return of debtors’ prisons, the privatization of probation, and the reason why four million Californians have their drivers’ licenses suspended right this minute–and their numbers are growing by nearly half a million every year.



  • Karen Dolan, fellow at the Institute for Policy studies, co-author of “The Poor Get Prison: The Alarming Spread of the Criminalization of Poverty.”
  • Elisa Della Piana, program director at the East Bay Community Law Center, co-author of a new report called  Not Just a Ferguson Problem: How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California.


Performances reviewed in this program:

  • “Stupid Fucking Bird”, at the SF Playhouse through May 2

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