How Judge Spillane re-ignited a national dialogue on indigency and courts
By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director
College Station Municipal Court Judge Ed Spillane talks every year about how he doesn’t want to send anyone to jail. He offers too many alternatives — warrant amnesty, payment plans, community service — for those unable to pay fines for Class-C misdemeanors or who have outstanding warrants from his court.
But apparently Judge Spillane’s message to the public — that indigent people are constitutionally protected from being sent to a “debtor’s prison” — has drawn attention from the entertainment industry, law schools, universities, and the highest levels of the federal government.
How? He wrote a letter, and The Washington Post did the rest.
In this podcast edition, Judge Spillane explains the remarkable traction his message is receiving.
Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his seventh year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. He is a native of Breckenridge.
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