Categories:  'Criminal Justice & Incarceration Society'  

Modern-day Debtor Prisons keep Hundreds of Impoverished People under Insurmountable Debt

In the town of Alexander City, the city has unfairly targeted and jailed low-income people through the operation of a modern-day debtors’ prison. When the [...]

In the town of Alexander City, the city has unfairly targeted and jailed low-income people through the operation of a modern-day debtors’ prison. When the defendant appears in municipal court, the judge does not determine their ability to pay and are left with fines they cannot pay. People who cannot pay their fines in full are arrested by the police without a warrant or probable cause, violating the 14th Amendment right to due process and equal protection under the law and the 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

A federal lawsuit in 2016 by the Southern Poverty Law Center resulted in an ordinance to ensure that no one is jailed for their inability to pay fines and court costs for misdemeanors. This allows the court to provide alternatives, such as community service, to people unable to pay their debts.

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Publication Date: 15/11/2017
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center
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Publication Date: 08/09/2015
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center
Author:
Publication Date: 01/12/2015
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center
Author: