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News Link • Law Enforcers or Peace Officers

Across the South, Many Jails Are Illegal Debtors' Prisons

• arclein

In Alexander City, where nearly 30 percent of the city's 15,000 residents live below the poverty line, people who receive a fine for traffic violations and misdemeanors in court are told by the judge to go to the "back room" behind the judge's bench. In the back room, which is not open to public, they must pay the fine in full before the end of business hours, or they are booked into the jail located in another part of the same building, according to a federal complaint filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on September 8.

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