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Lisa Borden Discusses Private Probation Companies in The Anniston Star


A lawsuit facing Childersburg, Alabama, is part of a mounting backlash against the use of private probation companies in Alabama. Dozens of cash-strapped Alabama cities have hired private companies to make sure people pay fines imposed for small offenses. Critics say the system blurs the line between guilt and innocence, turning small offenses into major financial obligations landing people in jail for traffic violations or other small offenses simply because they're too poor to pay.

In this Anniston Star article, Baker Donelson's Pro Bono Shareholder Lisa Borden notes that more than 80 Alabama cities use private probation services and that all of them are ripe for abuse. "These are civil rights cases, in my opinion," said Ms. Borden, adding that one of her clients, a single mother, wound up homeless after fines and fees from a traffic violation put her in arrears with a probation company and landed her in jail. "She had to choose between making the payments and keeping the lights on," Ms. Borden said. "She chose to keep the lights on."

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