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Judge orders end to holding inmates who can’t pay $55 fee

November 17, 2017 GMT

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado judge says defendants who have been held in jail because they can’t afford a $55 county fee for pre-trial services must be released if they have been granted a personal recognizance bond.

William Bain, El Paso County’s top judge, signed the order Wednesday about a week after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit on behalf 26-year-old Jasmine Still, who spent 27 days in jail after a judge approved her release on such a bond.

A personal recognizance bond serves as a written promise to appear in court.

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Still, of Colorado Springs, says she pleaded guilty to a drug charge so she could get out of jail quickly and fight for custody of her children.

The fee helps provide pre-trial supervision.

The Gazette reports the ACLU plans to continue its fight to win damages for Still.

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Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com