• AIDS deaths have decreased by 75 percent in four years at Limestone Correctional Facility

    There are 267 HIV-positive inmates housed in the Special Needs Unit of Limestone Correctional Facility. Improved inmate care has cut the number of AIDS deaths by 75 percent in four years. News-Courier photographer

  • What's happening in a lawsuit over medical care at Tutwiler Prison for Women may be a rare win-win in a system far more accustomed to lose-lose propositions.

    A new deal between lawyers for Tutwiler inmates and the Department of Corrections calls for up to six years of reviews by a new monitor for the federal court. Under an earlier settlement, the state would have faced four more years of monitoring.

  • ROME, GEORGIA , Tuesday June 20, 2006 – A class action lawsuit is being filed today in U.S. District Court challenging HB 1059, the Georgia sex offender legislation passed in 2006 by the General Assembly. Lawyers from the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia are asking the Court to stop the enforcement of HB 1059, scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2006.
  • ATLANTA - After eight months in the Clinch County Jail, ready to rejoin his three children and find a new job, Willie Williams Jr. had one more item on his to-do list: Repay the county a $4,608 "room and board" bill for his time behind bars.

    In a settlement reached this week, Williams could have some money coming back to him.

  • Pretrial detainees in Clinch had paid room and board

    A southeast Georgia sheriff must stop charging jail inmates $18 a day for room and board and return about $27,000 to those who have incurred the fees, according to the terms of a settlement signed Monday by a federal judge.

  • Last July, a homeless man named Hubert Lindsey was stopped by police officers in Gulfport, Miss., for riding his bicycle without a light. The police soon discovered that Lindsey was a wanted man. Gulfport records showed he owed $4,780 in old fines. So, off to jail he went.

  • Wthin weeks of taking office, Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr has demonstrated an admirable willingness to correct what appears to be a long-standing complaint with the city's Municipal Court - without being dragged into federal court. And just as admirably, those who have leveled the justifiable criticism at the Municipal Court have demonstrated a willingness to work with the mayor and city officials.

  • GULFPORT - Mayor Brent Warr has promised to correct problems that have earned Gulfport Municipal Court the reputation of being "the worst in the state."

    In comments at an NAACP meeting Tuesday night, Warr responded to allegations of illegal practices in city court by pledging fairness to all, to include indigent people who can't afford to pay misdemeanor fines within 30 days.

  • HARVEST, Ala. - If there was ever a prison that needed help, it was Limestone Correctional Facility.

    Even within the troubled Alabama penal system, this state compound near Huntsville was notorious for cruel punishment and medical neglect. In one drafty, rat-infested warehouse once reserved for chain gangs, the state quarantined its male prisoners with H.I.V. and AIDS, until the extraordinary death toll - 36 inmates from 1999 to 2002 - moved inmates to sue and the government to promise change.

  • GULFPORT - A federal lawsuit claims the City of Gulfport and its Municipal Court have created a modern-day debtors' prison.

    The lawsuit, filed Thursday, alleges the city and court officials have abused their authority by putting indigent people in jail for failure to pay misdemeanor fines. It also alleges a special unit of police officers "troll the streets," primarily in predominantly black neighborhoods, looking for people who have past-due court fines.

    The civil lawsuit represents only one side of a complaint.