Cullman County, AL: Bail

In August 2017, Civil Rights Corps moved to intervene in a federal class action lawsuit against officials in Cullman County, Alabama who operate an unconstitutional bail system. CRC and our partners filed an intervenor complaint challenging the County’s practice of jailing people arrested for any offense solely due to inability to pay money bail. Our client and named Plaintiff, Bradley Hester, is a lifelong resident of Cullman County who was jailed because he could not afford to pay $1,000 money bail following his arrest on a misdemeanor charge. When we met him in the jail, he had an open wound on his hand from a spider bit that was dripping blood, but he could not obtain medical care for his hand because he could not afford it. Defendant Cullman County Sheriff has promised to do “everything within that bond schedule to keep [people] in jail.” We hope to put a stop to the County’s practice of using the bond schedule to keep poor people in jail while allowing wealthier people to walk free. Our partners in the case include Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project, and the ACLU Foundation of Alabama.