Randolph County, AL: Bail

In May 2017, Civil Rights Corps filed a federal class action lawsuit challenging the unconstitutional money bail system in Randolph County, Alabama. Our client and named Plaintiff, Kandace Edwards, a National Guard veteran who was 7.5 months pregnant with her third child, was accused of forging a check in the amount of $75 and confined to a jail cell because she could not afford to pay $7,500 money bail after her arrest. Ms. Edwards spent the night sleeping on the floor of a jail cell because there were not enough beds. On the day that we filed our lawsuit, Judge Keith Watkins of the Middle District of Alabama issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the defendants from continuing to jail Ms. Edwards solely due to her inability to pay a secured monetary amount as a condition of release. Although Ms. Edwards is now free, dozens of other people are experiencing this same injustice. We seek to end the practice of jailing people solely due to inability to pay.  Our partners in the case include Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project, and the ACLU Foundation of Alabama.