Debtors’ prisons have existed for many centuries on this planet, and in fact many forms of bonded servitude and slavery still exists today. Bonded servitude is practiced in India, and other nations, and slavery in its most brutal forms, are practiced in various parts of Africa.
Debtors’ prisons are facilities where persons are imprisoned who are unwilling or unable to pay their debts. Bankruptcy Laws were eventually formulated and enacted in order to betray the harsh penalties imposed upon the populace, usually upon the most poor and powerless of the subject societies.
The Bankruptcy Laws in the United States are at least partially derived and influenced by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Laws that eventually formulated in England. The United States Constitution specifically grants the Congress the power to create such Bankruptcy Laws in the United States. It is the writer’s opinion that such Bankruptcy Laws, properly created and protected, serve as an essential right granted to the American people, possibly as important as the Rights enumerated in the Constitution, such as the Right to Free Speech, the Right to Assembly, The Right Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures, and others.
If the Bankruptcy Laws do not protect the US Citizen in his capacity to not be onerously subjected to debt, the eventual result is akin to a Debtor Prison, wherein such Citizens can be forever “enslaved” to debt, and the holders of that debt. The United States does in fact have certain governmental punishments that could be equivalent to Debtor Prisons such as imprisonment for certain persons who are unable to pay certain fines.
Although private creditors cannot have you incarcerated for failure to pay a debt owed to them, the gradual and continuing erosion of the Debtors’ rights or protections under the Bankruptcy Code can act as a de facto slavery wherein the Debtor, unable to exorcise certain debts, is subject to the punishments issued by his Creditors. This is a primarily a financial punishment, and should not be equated with slavery in its most brutal sense, but is a close family to bonded servitude.