A bit far afield maybe, but an interesting bit of fallout from the recession and the continued squeezing of government:

This devastating problem has gotten far worse the past five years, the result of budget-strapped state courts looking for sources of revenue and ever more poor people becoming ensnared in the court system. For decades, state court systems have gotten short shrift in the budget process and are often starved of revenue. Since the recession began, courts have increasingly had to fend for themselves by imposing fees on criminal defendants to address budget gaps.

This revenue-oriented approach is made worse by the increasing use of for-profit companies to collect fees owed to the courts. They add hefty fees of their own to make their profits and have gotten judges to issue arrest warrants if someone has not paid up — with no apparent need to consider a person’s inability to pay.

Read: Return of Debtors’ Prisons – NYTimes.com.