Predatory collection agencies are garnishing wages from the poor over already paid debts.
Prisons are struggling to cope with the growing number of elderly and ill inmates incarcerated in the U.S., yet many are unable to secure an early release.
Former inmate Veronica Barnes had three years left to serve in federal prison when she found out in January 2011 that her husband John was dying of pancreatic cancer. Doctors said it was inoperable. They gave him less than a year to live. Barnes worried who would look after her children, who were four and five years old at the time. A social