by: WKRN Web Staff Posted: Nov 18, 2019 / 06:33 PM CST / Updated: Nov 18, 2019 / 06:36 PM CST
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —- Activists in Middle Tennessee say thousands are being kept behind bars simply because they’re too poor to pay their way out. The Nashville based nonprofit, Free Hearts, has worked statewide throughout the past year with the goal of decriminalizing poverty. This Saturday the nonprofit will collaborate with attorneys from Civil Rights Corps to host a fee-waiver clinic in Mufreesboro, “This is one opportunity where some of those damages can be reconciled.” said Dawn Harrington, Free Hearts executive director The collaboration comes after a class action lawsuit settlment, back in 2017 Rutherford County agreed to waive all future probation fees for people who make 125% or less of the federal poverty line. The agreement came after attorneys fought and won a case saying poor people were extorted by a private probation company in the county. “We’re just going to take a lot of the guess work away….we’ll have lawyers there to do the motions. We’ll have a notary there to get peoples’ information right there on the spot.” The clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday at the Walnut House in Murfreesboro.