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(AOL Black Voices) — If you had asked me before today if you could get get locked up for having outstanding credit card bills, I would have said: Absolutely not. After all, debtors’ prisons in the United States were abolished in the middle of the19th century. Unfortunately, however, a frightening and little-known occurrence is taking place in cities all across America: People are, in fact, being put in jail simply because they can’t afford to pay their creditors.

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