There’s a man in Georgia who stole a can of beer worth $2. He got caught, and was given a year’s probation, which seems a bit excessive to me. In the UK you’d get a wigging from the cops, and that would be the end of it.

He was forced to wear an ankle tag, supplied by an outfit called Sentinel. For this service, Sentinel charged him. He fell behind on payments, not surprisingly, since if you steal $2 worth of beer you may be a bit down on your luck, no? Sentinel got a bit heavy, so the man sold his own blood plasma to try to keep up. That wasn’t enough. When he ended up owing $1000 or so in late fees and charges, he got flung in the slammer.

Jailed, not for stealing a can of beer, but for owing money to the company that was supposedly supervising him. That’s not justice, that’s avaricious and stupidly unfair. It might get to the point where you have to pay the police when they arrest you, despite the fact that even the poorest people have been paying taxes pretty much since they were born.

And guess what? Sentinel are interested in the part privatisaion of the UK Probation Service. I just don’t understand.