Daleville terminates Judicial Correction Services contract

By Jan Murray jmurray@southeastsun.com

Daleville terminates Judicial Correction Services contract

The SPLC filed a federal lawsuit against JCS and the city of Clanton in March 2015. In the lawsuit, the SPLC accused JCS of extorting money from the poor and threatening jail time—debtors’ prison— for those who could not pay their balance in full. Clanton terminated their contract and the lawsuit against that city has been settled while the case against JCS continues. Neighboring cities of Enterprise and Level Plains also ended contracts with JCS. Daleville voted in July to renew its contract and did not immediately follow suit in cancellation, while 54 other cities, at that time, did cancel.Daleville Mayor Claudia Wigglesworth said in August that the city had not received any complaints since inception of the city’s business with JCS in 2008 and that staffing limitations were the reason the city opted to continue outsourcing the collection services.  Level Plains Mayor Bruce Grantham had said that his city had already planned to cancel its contract as the town has sufficient resources to do its own collections. The city of Enterprise decided to cease its dealing with JCS “in light of publicly reported events and lawsuits” in regards to JCS. Last year, the city of Montgomery terminated its agreement with JCS after the city agreed, in the settlement of a separate SPLC lawsuit, to stop jailing indigent people who could not afford to pay fines.At Tuesday’s council meeting, Wigglesworth said the court clerk, Michelle Bryan, “had no issue with JCS” but that she had examined her caseload and determined that she can handle collection services. Councilman Bob Slagle commented that the clerk had to prepare cases to be given to the firm anyway. The mayor recommended canceling the contract with the appropriate 30-day notice. The council unanimously approved. The city will now send a letter of termination to JCS, the contract will terminate 30 days from the date of notification from the city.Bryan told The Southeast Sun/Daleville Sun-Courier that the termination of the contract will bring roughly 500 cases back to her for collection. “All the files they are working with will be returned to me, then I will have to send notifications to all the defendants to start paying me instead of JCS,” she said.In other council business, members voted to table discussion regarding the court clerk’s pay.  The clerk is currently paid an hourly salary plus overtime on weekends when she is on call. City Clerk Angelia Filmore recommended the council make the change to salary.Wigglesworth also read a letter from Enterprise attorney Paul Young which requested that a police lieutenant be given a $500 employee performance award. The letter referenced a previous council decision on July 15 to provide a $500 bonus to employees that received a “meets or exceeds standards” evaluation.Discussion among the council members and mayor indicated that what was intended by the council was for non-probationary, full-time employees to receive the bonus if they did not receive a step-increase.  Councilman Scott Moore said that raises “were given as intended.” Councilman Marvin Wise said the July 15 minutes needed to be clarified and submitted a statement that said, “it was my understanding that the one-time performance award of $500 was to be given to city employees who had a positive evaluation from their department head. This would apply to those employees that did not receive a step increase due to the pay freeze that took place after the first quarter of fiscal year 2015.” The motion to amend the minutes to provide “clarity of intent” and to take no action on the attorney’s letter passed unanimously.Council members also approved a request from the Alabama Rural Water Association to hold their meeting at the Daleville Convention Center. Council members also voted to waive fees for the facility for the Nov. 19 meeting, which will have 50-75 attendees.Wigglesworth recommended reappointment of Donna Overstreet to the Daleville Housing Authority. The council approved.Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deanna Carmichael informed the council that the first-ever Spartan Fest was a success with 150 to 160 people attending.  She also reminded that the Fall Farmer’s Market is every Thursday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the corner of Daleville Avenue and AL-134. Carmichael also said the Chamber is hosting a memorial run at the dog park Oct. 31 in honor of Dr. John Diggs, a local veterinarian who passed away Jan.


This map shows roughly the areas where municipalities currently

have JCS contracts.



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