Four lawsuits filed in federal court in Mississippi in the past year have challenged lower courts on constitutional issues. About the cases:
Biloxi: Accused of operating a debtors prison by jailing people for misdemeanor fines they can't afford to pay. Settlement negotiations under way.
Moss Point: Accused of using fixed-sum bail to hold poor people in jail on pre-set misdemeanor bonds while people who could afford bond were released. Settled Nov. 16. Judge ordered release on own recognizance on most charges and said city must report anyone who violates the order.
Jackson: Accused of operating a debtors prison by jailing unemployed people who can't afford their fines. Pending.
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Scott County: Accused of holding people on felony charges for months without a fair bond hearing and refusing to appoint legal counsel for detainees unless they're indicted.