Baton Rouge, LA (PPN) – A local judge and pretrial services company in Baton Rouge has been accused of violating inmates rights by requiring exorbitant fees in addition to court-ordered bail before releasing them from jail.
ACLU of Louisiana and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit Monday against Rehabilitation Home Incarceration for allegedly “extorting” a payment of $525 and hundreds of dollars in subsequent fees.
Hundreds of inmates who were held in jail for failing to make payments spent “days, weeks or even months” in jail, ” according to the new class-action lawsuit.
The ACLU believes local jail officials have been complicit in wrongfully detaining defendants before they have paid RHI, according to the Advocate.
Jail officials violated the rights of inmates by “detaining them beyond expiration of a valid order of confinement, without a probable cause.”
Judge Trudy White failed to solicit financial resources of the defendants before ordering them to complete services at RHI. The “informal agreement” between the judge and RHI violates state and federal laws.
The political allies served more than 300 criminal defendants in 2015 and 2016. RHI threatened to re-arrest defendants for not paying $225 monthly payments.