This class action was brought against Sentinel Offender Services, a private probation company operating under contract with White County, Georgia. The case alleged that Sentinel’s practice of requiring people under its supervision to pay for and undergo drug testing without a court order violated due process and constituted an unconstitutional search.
The parties ultimately agreed to the entry of a consent order which contains the following key provisions:
- Sentinel will no longer require people to submit to drug screening unless authorized by written court order.
- Sentinel cannot threaten people with jail solely for failure to pay fines and fees.
- Sentinel cannot direct people to borrow money to pay fines and fees.
- Sentinel must inform people orally and in writing that their probation may be modified to accommodate financial hardships.
- Sentinel must reimburse 276 individuals up to $90 per unauthorized test.
You can find a detailed summary and case documents via the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse.
Related: Human Rights Watch published a video about this case, which you can watch below.