/Jackson jail policy is unconstitutional

Jackson jail policy is unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee stated that “it violates the Constitution” to imprison an individual before or after trial solely because they are unable to make a financial payment. The seven plaintiffs were granted a settlement by the City, which forgives their debts to the city and pays them $128,400. The settlement reached with Jackson by the attorneys representing the seven plaintiffs, who brought the lawsuit to recover the fees, was deemed a “landmark event” by the attorneys. The city will give the indigent defendants the option of paying their fines at $25 per month, or performing community service and earning credit towards their unpaid fines at $9 per hour,” Lee’s decision stated in a news release. The class-action complaint stated that these practices and the debtors’ prison they created are unacceptable in society. Lawyers for Equal Justice Under Law of Washington, D.C. and the MacArthur Justice Center of the University of Mississippi filed the lawsuit. According to their news release, Jackson no longer requires misdemeanor arrestees to post a money bail to avoid being held in pre-trial detention. According to the class-action complaint, Jackson used to tell poor people that they could “work off their fines” at the rate of $58/day while those who were unable work would have to “sit out their fines at $25/day. Rickey Lambert (41), of Flowood and Jackson residents Jerome Bell (61), James Sheppard (61), Marteze Harris (25), Domonic Butler (27), Michael Davis (34), and Jarmale Walker (26) filed the lawsuit. Cliff Johnson, the director of the MacArthur Center at Ole Miss thanked the city officials for considering the legal complaints seriously. He stated that the decision to avoid paying “hundreds and thousands of dollars in attorney fees” saved the city from “huge class action damages.” Johnson stated that he was encouraged by the things happening in Jackson after the settlement was announced. “The city’s leaders show a willingness to think creatively and be thoughtful, and they set an example for other states,” Johnson said. A spokesperson for the city stated that a statement would soon be issued. To support this work, you can make a regular donation to us today as part of the Spring Member Drive.