Ferguson’s Municipal Court System Makes Millions Off Targeting Black and Poor People

By: Monday August 25, 2014 8:54 am

A small nonprofit organization, which provides “holistic legal advocacy” to poverty-stricken residents in St. Louis County, didn’t believe their clients when they claimed they were being incarcerated for not paying fines, targeted for being black and poor and denied access to municipal courts, particularly when they brought their children with them. The organization decided to conduct a “court watching” program and observed about 60 different courts. It produced a report that largely confirmed the allegations of clients.

In the aftermath of the killing of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, the report [PDF] from ArchCity Defenders has been receiving attention for the critical context it provides.

 

Film Highlights Public Defenders Fighting Against Creation of Permanent Underclass

By: Friday January 25, 2013 7:25 pm

An HBO documentary on the right that everyone has to a defense lawyer when they are charged with a crime, even if they cannot afford one, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film “Gideon’s Army,” was featured on “Democracy Now!” this morning.

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