Harrison County Jail was a modern day debtors’ prison. Officers went to predominantly African American neighborhoods arbitrarily checking people to see if they had paid their court fines and fees.
This statute details the procedural protections owed to defendants in instances of nonpayment of fines and fees. It also establishes explicit limits for nonpayment incarceration.
This rule guides Alabama courts' decision-making processes for ordering restitution and fines, including for failure to pay.
In Bearden v. Georgia, the Supreme Court held that courts may only revoke probation and/or sentence the defendant to imprisonment if the defendant willfully refused to pay.