Woman put in jail for being poor

Posted: January 15, 2012 in NEWS, POLICE STATE
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

RT
January 14, 2012

The recession ruined Linda Ruggles’ business and she has been selling plasma twice a week since to make ends meet. The blood bank couldn’t bail her out from behind bars though, which is where she ended up after she couldn’t pay a $480 fine.

That fine, say cops in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, came about because Linda Ruggles had a messy yard.

Barely getting by in recent years, Ruggles, 53, has been stockpiling scraps to pawn off in order to make her bill payments. In her yard rests a pile of metal that she routinely cashes in to get by. Elsewhere outside her house is a shack of shingles. Paying to have her roof fixed, often a job that comes at a cost of several thousand dollars, has been out of the question.

So when cops ticketed her $480 for having a messy yard, Ruggles wasn’t exactly prepared to pay it.

“I told everyone, ‘If I had $480 to pay the fine, I’d fix the roof,’”‘ she told Charleston, South Carolina ‘s Post and Courier.

Ruggles couldn’t fix the roof, however, and she couldn’t pay the fine either. For being unable to do so, she was sentenced to serve 10 days in jail for failing to pay her “clean lot violation.”

“I feel like they want to make an example out of me,” Ms Ruggles tells the paper. “This should be an embarrassment for the town of Mount Pleasant. And it should be an embarrassment for my neighbors who called the code enforcement officer, because no one offered to help me – no one.”

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