Top Ten Videos to watch

Graduates tossing caps into the air
Freddie Gray Baltimore Protests
Mid section of man in graduation gown holding diploma
Legendary Baseball Player Tony Gwynn's Family Files A Lawsuit Against Big Tobacco
ME.jailhouse#2.0117.CW Montebello City Council has approved use of a private contractor to run the n
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Addresses Police Misconduct At Chicago City Council Meeting
WWII Soldiers Standing In A Flag Draped Sunset - SIlhouette
Students Taking a College Exam
Bill Cosby Preliminary Hearing
Hillary Clinton Campaigns In Louisville, Kentucky
Worried black businesswoman at desk
Tyler Perry And Soledad O'Brien Host Gala Honoring Bishop T.D. Jakes' 35 Years Of Ministry
Teacher with group of preschoolers sitting at table
FBI Officials Discuss Apprehension Of Explosions Suspect After Three-Day Manhunt
NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons
US-POLITICS-OBAMA
Protests Erupt In Chicago After Video Of Police Shooting Of Teen Is Released
24673281
US-VOTE-DEMOCRAT-SANDERS
Nine Dead After Church Shooting In Charleston
Portrait of senior African woman holding money
Medicare
President Bush Speals At Federalist Society's Gala
Police
Police Line Tape
Senior Woman's Hands
Police officers running
New Orleans Residents Return to Housing Projects
David Banner
2010 Jazz Interlude Gala
Leave a comment

The Department of Justice has warned state court systems that jailing poor people over unpaid fines may violate their constitutional rights. In a letter sent by the federal government to state court administrators, the Justice Department said courts shoul

The Justice Department sent a letter Monday to state and municipal courts instructing them to avoid incarcerating poor people for unpaid fines over minor offenses, a practice that some municipalities have used as a source of revenue, CNN reports.

Vanita Gupta, the department’s chief civil rights prosecutor, issued the guidelines that are “intended to address some of the most common practices that run afoul of the United States Constitution and/or other federal laws,” according to the network.

This move stems from an investigation of law enforcement and the municipal court in Ferguson, Missouri, which revealed racial bias. According to the DOJ’s report, Ferguson officials routinely targeted poor African-Americans, disproportionately issuing them fines for minor infractions to generate revenue.

When many of these poor people can’t pay the fines, they end up incarcerated, unemployed, homeless, or some combination.

When it comes to minor offenses, the Justice Department said the courts shouldn’t jail indigent defendants for nonpayment—knowing they can’t afford to pay. It also discouraged the courts from suspending their licenses to compel payments. That only sets off the harmful cycle that begins with an arrest.

The department announced the availability of grants to encourage state and local courts to find alternatives to fines and incarcerations.

SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform

SEE ALSO:

DOJ Sues Ferguson Over Police Reforms

San Francisco Police Take Oath To Stamp Out Racism & Intolerance Amid DOJ Probe

Also On News One: