Ending Wealth-Based Detention in Atlanta
At the end of 2017, and at the start of 2018, Civil Rights Corps and the Southern Center for Human Rights sent a letter threatening to sue the City of Atlanta for its illegal cash bail system that has devastated the city's poorest residents for years. We offered to work with Atlanta to create a new system.
On Feburary 5, 2018, the Atlanta City Council unanimously voted to end wealth-based detention in Atlanta's Municipal Court. For the past several months, local organizers and advocates, including Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and many other incredible local leaders, worked with SCHR to build pressure on the city government to end wealth-based jailing. At the same time, Civil Rights Corps worked closely with SCHR and other advocates to meet with the city and to advise the city on creating a new more effective, lawful approach to pretrial release and detention. And an approach that would avoid a lawsuit.
This is a historic moment for Atlanta and another major victory in our fight to end wealth-based human caging around the country. It also coincides with the formal launch of Civil Rights Corps' policy advocacy project,in which we will use the knowledge and skills that we have developed in our litigation to advocate and educate government officials and communities around policy reforms to avoid the constitutional problems that we litigate around the country.