Equal Justice Under Law


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Shutting Down Debtors’ Prisons

Privatizing prisons and probation makes profits for companies at the expense of communities.

Although debtors’ prisons were banned in the U.S. in 1833, Equal Justice Under Law has uncovered modern-day debtors’ prisons that target people who are poor. Cities are unconstitutionally using local courts and jails to generate millions of dollars in profits off the backs of indigent residents.

Equal Justice Under Law has won settlements in Montgomery, Alabama; Jennings, Missouri; and Jackson, Mississippi that benefited thousands of class members, while our lawsuits in Ferguson, Missouri and New Orleans, Louisiana are on track to help thousands more.

Privatization of our justice system prioritizes profits over people and violates constitutional rights.


Missouri - Fant v. City of Ferguson

Date Filed: february 8, 2015

Missouri - Jenkins v. City of Jennings

Date Filed: february 8, 2015

Alabama - Mitchell v. Montgomery

Date Filed: May 23, 2014

Louisiana - Cain v. City of New Orleans

Date Filed: September 21, 2015