“Three quarters of the time, the people jailed for being broke had been brought to court for an offense that carries no jail time under the relevant statute. Yet jailed they were, as the city treated poverty as a criminal offense,” Think Progress explained.
Under the settlement, 66 pay-or-serve victims will be paid $125 for each day they were illegally jailed.
One man included in the settlement was Shawn Hardman, a homeless man imprisoned for 90 days under the program. He will receive $11,000 from the city, Think Progress reports.
"I was told over and over that I either had to pay or go back to jail," Hardman said in a statement. "Without a home or a job, the cycle kept repeating."
Approximately ¾ of the people who were jailed under the pay or serve program had been fined for non-jailable offenses, indicating that they were jailed for simply being poor.