A poor single mother seeks justice against Biloxi after she was imprisoned for not paying $400 in court fees, a practice that systematically criminalizes poverty
Qumotria Kennedy, a 36-year-old single mother with teenage kids from Biloxi, Mississippi, was driving around the city with a friend in July when they were pulled over by police for allegedly running a stop sign. Though Kennedy was the passenger, her name was put through a police database that flashed up a warrant for her arrest on charges that she failed to pay $400 in court fines.
The fines were for other traffic violations dating back to 2013. At that time, Kennedy says she told her probation officers – a private company called Judicial Corrections Services Inc (JCS) – that she was so poor there was no way she could find the money.