Jennings, MO: Debtors' Prison

Civil Rights Corps, in partnership with ArchCity Defenders and the Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics, reached a landmark settlement for impoverished people who were illegally jailed in Jennings, Missouri.  The City of Jennings, which is next to the City of Ferguson, had converted its legal system into a mechanism of revenue generation in which it used its police, municipal court, and jail to extort millions of dollars every year from its most impoverished people, keeping them caught in a brutal cycle of jail and debt for years.  As a result of our case, the City paid $4.75 million to nearly 2,000 impoverished people who were illegally jailed and agreed to an injunction that prevents it from ever again jailing people because they are unable to make a payment.