This class action alleges that Alabama’s driver’s license suspension practices violate equal protection and due process because people are being punished without any determination of their ability to pay.
This report examines in detail the collateral consequences of Alabama’s court debt system and explores the ways in which it undermines public safety and drives the state’s racial wealth divide.
This video provides an overview of the history of debtors’ prisons in the U.S. and features compelling commentary from citizens describing how our current system of court fines and fees put them in difficult situations and made them resort to desperate measures for survival.
On September 17, 2015, Circuit Judge Wiggins from Perry County Alabama threatened defendants who appeared before him for a previously scheduled “pay-due” docket. He informed them, “If you do not have any money and you do not want to go to jail…you can give blood today…bring in a receipt indicating that you gave blood…”
This report provides granular data on the imposition and payment of fines and fees in Alabama. The authors gathered and analyzed 200,000 court records over the last two decades to provide a comprehensive picture of the assessments of fines and fees across the state.
In Alexander City, municipal court defendants must pay their court fines and fees from traffic debt in full by the end of the court day, usually 3:00 p.m. Persons unable to pay are forced to sit out their time in city jail, at the rate of $20 per day until someone pays their debt.
On September 17, 2015, Alabama Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins opened his court session by giving two options to people who did not have the money to pay their court fines and fees: give blood, or go to jail.
In this video, John Oliver details the devastating impacts that low-income Americans suffer due to fines and fees and the involvement of private probation companies.
The Municipal Court judge asks the defendants if they wish to pay or be put on a payment plan but rarely discloses the option of community service. If an individual asks for a payment plan, JCS sets the amount owed each month. No inquiry is made into the person’s ability to pay. The standard minimum payment is $140 per month.
This study explains how the current lack of uniformity in funding of Alabama’s courts, even after the 1973 establishment of the Unified Judicial System (UJS), warrants a second wave of reform.