A federal civil rights lawsuit alleges that Dallas County's bail system unfairly harms poor people, violating their constitutional rights.
Four nonprofits filed the lawsuit Sunday on behalf of six Dallas County inmates. The lawsuit alleges that the county's bail system does not consider a jailed defendant's ability to pay to post bond, resulting in different treatment in the criminal justice system.
The lawsuit says that "while wealthier arrestees are released from custody almost immediately upon payment of money" to the county, arrestees like the plaintiffs who are "too poor to purchase their freedom" remain jailed "because of their poverty."
County Judge Clay Jenkins tells The Dallas Morning News that the county has been working to put a risk assessment tool in place and improve the system.