Action Item – Stop “Debtor’s Prisons” Statewide

The Alabama Legislature reconvened today and there’s a prefiled bill seeking to outlaw “debtor’s prisons.” Senate Bill 31 (sponsored by Senator Albritton – R) says that municipal courts would no longer be able to jail defendants accused of misdemeanors (such as traffic tickets, etc.) because they can’t afford to pay certain fines or fees.  While 77 municipalities across Alabama have adopted policies aimed at ensuring that their jails don’t hold people just because they can’t pay their fines, this bill would make it uniform across the state. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center has advocated for this policy change for several years. You can read more about this issue here, the SPLC’s work and the actual bill here.

I’m writing a postcard and email to my Senator (Jabo Waggoner) to encourage him to support Senate Bill 31. Will you join me in reading more about this issue and taking action? (My text: “Senator Waggoner, I’m writing in hopes you will support Senate Bill 31 sponsored by Senator Albritton. This law prohibits jailing people because they are poor and upholds our Constitution. Thank you for doing the right thing.”)

You can click here to find your Senator.  

Senator Jabo Waggoner (my senator)
11 South Union Street, Ste. 726
Montgomery, AL 36130

Senator Rodger Smitherman (another senator in our area, please check the link above)
11 South Union Street, Ste. 737
Montgomery, AL 36130

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