PBS News Hour ran a disturbing story about an Alabama couple who were found innocent of violating a traffic violation but were nevertheless jailed for failing to pay approximately $500 in court costs imposed by the judge. The couple became indigent after giving birth to a child with a rare brain disease who needed constant medical attention. The Childersberg municipal court engaged a private for profit company, Judicial Corrections Services, to collect the court fees. While the couple paid off a substantial amount of the fees, they became unable to pay after their child died. The couple ended up spending several hours in jail before a relative came and paid off some of the fees. The couple, which has already paid nearly $1300 toward what they owe, racked up nearly $2500 in fees associated with the original case. This doesn’t include additional fees imposed by Judicial Corrections Services.
You can watch the segment