"People are being jailed because they're poor," ACLU attorney Nusrat Choudhury told Reuters. "There's no chance for them to explain that their inability to pay is because of poverty."
The lawyers have alleged that the city is running an illegal revenue generation scheme, and are trying to raise money through debtors prisons.
The city however, maintains that they treat everyone fairly, and order community service for those who are unable to pay.
“We believe the ACLU is mistaken about the process in Biloxi, and we look forward to explaining it to the ACLU,” city spokesman Vincent Creel wrote in a statement about the case. “The city of Biloxi treats all defendants fairly under the law.”
The suit is specifically seeking damages for three plaintiffs who have been arrested and jailed, including a single mother of two teenagers who was held for five days and then lost her job over it. She is now being forced to pay $240 a month to the courts, or risk being thrown in prison all over again.