Critics: Farming out probation services = Extortion
ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Some court officials are calling the practice of contracting probation services to third party companies extortion, while others say it's an efficient way of collecting the associated fees. The Anniston Star reported Sunday that there's growing concern over municipalities outsourcing probation management duties to third-party companies. Some say the arrangements can lead to defendants becoming locked into major financial obligations for relatively minor offenses and can end up in jail for nonpayment, even if they haven't been found guilty of the original charge. Attorney for the Alabama League of Municipalities Lori Lein says municipalities typically turn to third-party probation management agencies because they don't have the resources or personnel to efficiently collect the money on their own.