- Cliff Johnson
- MacArthur Justice Center
- University of Mississippi School of Law
481 Chucky Mullins Drive,
Right now, thousands of people are being held in Mississippi county jails.
Most are there because they are too poor to make bail. As a result, they will remain behind bars for months – even years – before trial or release.
For the first time, we have been able to make this information available to the public.
Brown v. Corinth
The MacArthur Justice Center, in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), filed a federal class action lawsuit targeting the City of Corinth, Mississippi for operating a modern-day debtors’ prison, unlawfully jailing poor people for their inability to pay bail and fines. As a result of the settlement, the City will ensure that defendants arrested without a warrant see a judge within 48 hours, will stop jailing defendants who cannot afford to pay a fine or money bail, will release most people on their own recognizance following arrest, and will allow defendants who are unable to pay their fine in full to choose between a $25 monthly payment plan and community service.
Bell v. City of Jackson
The landmark settlement of this federal class action against the City of Jackson, Mississippi, brought an end to that city’s self-described “pay or stay” system that sent hundreds of people to jail each year because they could not pay fines and fees in misdemeanor cases. The City has agreed to give indigent defendants the choice...