Colo. Springs eliminates debtor prison sentences

Posted at 12:32 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 14:32:40-04

People who fail to pay their fines in Colorado Springs will no longer be sent to prison.

The city council has eliminated debtor prison sentences, making a temporary ban permanent.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, the city agreed to stop imposing jail sentences for unpaid fines and to repeal panhandling ordinances that were used to authorize that practice after the American Civil Liberties Union intervened.

Colorado ACLU director Mark Silverstein says a fund needs to be set up to compensate people who were wrongly jailed.

The ACLU says a survey found that hundreds of poor people had been jailed since January 2014 because they couldn't pay their fines.