Our criminal legal system is an assembly line that normalizes modern debtors’ prisons and that uses the mass processing of criminal cases to generate revenue on the backs of the poorest people in our society. We fight the systemic criminalization of poverty in all of its forms.
Civil Rights Corps, in partnership with ArchCity Defenders and the Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics, filed a landmark challenge to the City of Ferguson’s conversion of its legal system into a mechanism of revenue generation.
Giles County has privatized its probation system to generate profit for two for-profit companies and to fund its court system off the backs of the poorest people in the County. The poorest people in Giles County face a cycle of probation violation, extension of supervised probation, extra fees, and repeated jailing.
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.
In Louisiana, the judges who order and collect fines and fees from impoverished criminal defendants also depend on that money to fund their own budgets. We filed suit in federal court against the City of New Orleans and its local judges, who jailed thousands of human beings each year just for being too poor to pay those fines and fees.
Every year tens of millions of dollars in wealth is transferred from the poorest people in Oklahoma to a private debt-collection company, to the Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association, and to Oklahoma judges through an unconstitutional racketeering enterprise.
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.
In the five years before the lawsuits were filed, Tennessee suspended more than a quarter of a million driver’s licenses for nonpayment of traffic debt, and Tennessee revoked more than 140,000 driver's licenses for nonpayment of court debt. These suspensions occur without basic constitutional protections and have prevented indigent Tennessee families from accessing jobs, health care, child care, and other many of the other basic necessities of daily life.