The idea, of course, is to recoup money for a nearly bankrupt unemployment fund, but something tells us that better programming to avoid overpayment glitches in the first place might be the less intrusive and more constitutionally sound way to go on this one.
One-Third of American States Have Debtors' Prisons
The first thing we learned from Charles Dickens' novels was that being poor sucks. The second thing we learned was that being poor and living in Victorian England sucked even harder, because back then poverty was a character flaw worthy of jail, violence, and a funny-sounding name.
At the top of the list of Dickensian atrocities were debtors' prisons, entire jails dedicated to imprisoning people who owed money. Or worse, regular prisons, where debtors and killers alike were held together. Common sense eventually told the civilized world that imprisoning people who owe you money is retarded ... how are you supposed to get your money?
Didn't you guys know? Money is just something that happens when you wish hard enough.
Surprise! Even though the U.S. officially made debtors' prisons illegal in the 1830s, you can still be jailed for showing "contempt of court" during a creditor lawsuit -- and yes, not paying your debt counts as contempt of court. You may be wondering why they don't just close this obvious loophole, and the answer is that it doesn't even make a difference if they do. The ACLU found that Ohio is throwing people into jail for as little as $300, and they're doing it so much that in some areas 1 in 5 arrests are due to debts.