Sheila Bapat

Welfare Reform Insanity: Banning Convicted Drug Offenders from Food Stamps for Life

Victoria Sutherland is a 34-year-old mother of one and a former manager of a McDonalds in Sacramento. She has a drug conviction on her record from an incident in Portland, Oregon 13 years ago, when she lied to police and said her friend’s drugs actually belonged to her. Though she has served her sentence, because of her drug conviction, Sutherland is now banned from accessing food stamps for the rest of her life. 

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5 Ways States Are Screwing the Poor By Making Welfare Almost Impossible to Get

When President Clinton signed welfare reform into law 17 years ago this month, he said, “[W]e are ending welfare as we know it, but I hope this day will be remembered not for what it ended but for what it began.”

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Debtors' Prisons Are Alive and Well in America

The concept of a debtors’ prison is usually deemed a thing of the past, something out of a Dickens novel. But just this past June and July, New Jersey counties conducted one of their twice-annual raids to arrest people who are behind in child support payments. After the raids several New Jersey county sheriffs’ offices issued press releases proudly announcing the number of deadbeat parents they’d locked up.

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