• A federal judge in Atlanta who once placed the Fulton County Jail in receivership has proposed to solve the jail's chronic overcrowding problems by directing that people arrested for misdemeanors be issued a citation and a court summons rather than being taken to jail.

  • THERE is no abuse of government power more egregious than executing an innocent man. But that is exactly what may happen if the United States Supreme Court fails to intervene on behalf of Troy Davis.

  • Though a bill to fix the most egregious problems with Georgia's sex offender law stalled, a federal judge sides with SCHR: Georgia cannot categorically ban people on the sex offender registry from working or volunteering at a church.

    When a federal judge last week halted enforcement of Georgia's law banning sex offenders from volunteering at churches, one state lawmaker could easily have said, "I told you so."

  • A victory in SCHR's litigation to save public defense in Georgia

    ATLANTA, GA - Georgia’s public defender council has scrapped an arrangement strongly criticized for degrading the quality of legal representation in Fulton County.

    Last summer, amid a funding crisis, the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council abruptly shut down the Metro Conflict Defender Office. The office represented co-defendants when conflict-of-interest rules allowed a public defender to represent only one person.

  • DECATUR, Ala. — A northern Alabama sheriff was in federal custody Thursday after a judge ruled he purposely fed inmates skimpy meals so he could make money from an unusual system that lets sheriffs turn a profit on their jail kitchens.

  • Federal agents busted Morgan County sheriff Greg Bartlett, Wednesday night. They took him to the federal prison in Talladega.

    Bartlett was busted all because of jail food.

    WHNT NewsChannel 19's Special Investigations Unit revealed in 2007 how some Alabama sheriff's pocket jail food profit.

    It's legal. But, it's controversial.

    In Batlett's case, though, the judge has leverage to do something about it. That's because Morgan County's jail is operating under a federal consent decree.

  • DECATUR, Ala. — The prisoners in the Morgan County jail here were always hungry. The sheriff, meanwhile, was getting a little richer. Alabama law allowed it: the chief lawman could go light on prisoners’ meals and pocket the leftover change.

  • (CNN) -- A federal judge ordered a north Alabama sheriff jailed this week, saying the lawman intentionally served jail inmates "woefully insufficient" meals in order to pocket more than $200,000.

  • GULFPORT - The Southern Center for Human Rights is dismissing its "debtors' prison" lawsuit against the city today, according to officials.

    In a letter to Jeffrey Bruni with the city attorney's office obtained Wednesday by the Sun Herald, SCHR attorney Sarah Geraghty writes the city has remedied most of the issues introduced in the lawsuit Thomas v. City of Gulfport, which was filed in 2005 in conjunction with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

  • Day job off-site not enough for expenses and $705 fine.

    All Ora Lee Hurley has to do to get out of prison is pay a $705 fine, according to her attorney.

    But every month, she pays the Georgia Department of Corrections $600 for room and board and spends $76 a month for a MARTA card, laundry and some meals. As a result, Hurley has stayed locked up more than eight months past her original 120-day sentence, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by the Southern Center for Human Rights seeking her release.