The City of Birmingham is contracted with Judicial Correction Services (JCS) to provide probationary services. Part of those services include conducting educational classes that cost the defendants anywhere from $65 to $650 with additional charges for workbooks. A municipal judge can order a defendant to attend one or more of the following:
From the Birmingham News: A Birmingham lawyer is asking federal civil rights officials to investigate what she calls abuses of citizens caught in a trap of continually mounting fees with a private probation company in both Birmingham and Hoover municipal courts.
It's a claim the private probation company denies.
This is the story of how a single mother was abused by for-profit justice and how a “probation loan” turned into an arrest warrant. In the following report, Chade reflects on the hardship imposed on her by Judicial Correction Services (JCS) and the Hoover Municipal Court. Read below the story of how the judicially sponsored profit venture padded their pockets with hundreds of dollars from a single mother of two. The following report unfolded in Valinda Chappell’s interview of Chade.
The practice of granting probation to an offender is a highly regarded practice because it allows the court greater flexibility while affording offenders more time to pay fines, court courts and other fees assessed related to the infraction. What has recently come under scrutiny is the role of privatization in probationary services within the municipal courts in the State of Alabama.
Steve ran a stop sign. Deondre was drinking a beer on a friend’s porch. The police stopped Steve. The police stopped Deondre. The police told Steve it is illegal to run a stop sign. Steve said, “So what do we do now?” The police told Steve “now I give you a ticket.” The police told Deondre it is illegal to drink in public and they arrested him. Steve has a job and Steve paid his ticket. For 150 dollars, Steve’s story is over. Deondre was charged with public intoxication, a violation analogous to a traffic ticket.