NPR had a story this evening about the absurd number of people sitting in jails because they can't make bail. These people are poor; they may only be needing to pay a bail of $150 but they don't have that money. Studies have shown that people who make bail serve much less time than those who must remain in jail. On the outside they have the chance to show they can do the right thing or to get into rehab. Biding their time in jail they can do nothing. Most of these people committed non-violent crimes.
I'm reminded of the opening of Les Mis. Is it really possible that this is how we treat people?
Not long after hearing this story my daughters and I spent $70 at Target, $45 to fill up our minivan, and $12 to go through the car wash. I didn't have to think hard about any of that. How can I live such a privileged life while others lack so much? How can we as a society accept this?
(My husband's immediate response to my comments about this at dinner was, "What can we do about it?" I'm not clear on anything we can do about it, but I appreciated the question.)