Rutherford County, TN: Private Probation

Civil Rights Corps recently announced a landmark settlement in a first-of-its-kind class action case in federal court against Rutherford County and PCC, Inc., a private probation company that made millions of dollars over more than a decade by exploiting the poorest people in Rutherford County.  The lawsuit alleged an unconstitutional racketeering enterprise between the County and the for-profit probation company to extort money from impoverished people placed on probation in the County.

As a result of this case, the for-profit probation company went out of business all over the country and Rutherford County agreed to a sweeping injunction to overhaul its probation system, forgive court debts, prevent the future privatization of the probation system, and ensure that no one is jailed because of an inability to make a payment. 

The case also generated a monetary settlement of $14.3 million for more approximately 25,000 impoverished people in Rutherford County.  Civil Rights Corps was joined as Class Counsel in the case by Nashville-based attorney Kyle Mothershead.