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ACLU sues Waterloo jail for charging inmates fees that were used for ice cream, laser tag, cotton candy and a firing range

WATERLOO - The Black Hawk county jail in Waterloo is under scrutiny now after the Iowa ACLU filled a lawsuit to stop them from taking inmate fees and spending them on possibly frivolous activities of no benefit to taxpayers.

WATERLOO – The Black Hawk county jail in Waterloo is under scrutiny now after the Iowa ACLU filled a lawsuit to stop them from taking inmate fees and spending them on possibly frivolous activities of no benefit to taxpayers.

According to a statement from the Iowa ACLU:

People leaving jail are often struggling to get their lives back in order, including coping with financial problems. The last thing they need is to get hit with unlawful fees.

But in Black Hawk County, the sheriff’s department has been forcing people to agree to pay for their room, board, and other fees, and give up their legal right to contest those costs in court, before releasing them from jail.

And instead of actually covering those costs, or going into a county general fund, that money is being used to fund a shooting range for the enjoyment of department employees and families, including rentals of ice cream and cotton candy machines and laser tag.

Our client, Leticia Roberts of Waterloo, is now trying to pay back $730 to the sheriff’s department. But she’s on a limited income and even feeding her three young children is hard.

So we have filed a federal class action lawsuit with Public Justice, Fredrikson & Byron, PA, and Frerichs Law Office to stop this heartless practice and get damages for those who have already had their rights violated.

Leticia Roberts of Waterloo, via ACLU

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