Black Woman Who Could Have Been Released for $30 Dies After Spending 150 Days in Custody
Janice Dotson-Stephens, 61, died in jail on Friday after living there for months because nobody paid $30 to a bondsman to cover her bail.
Dotson-Stephens was arrested in Bexar County, Texas, in July for criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor. Her bail was set at $300. But she didn't arrange for payment ($30 if she had gone through a bail bondsman), and according to court records she allegedly was simply refusing to talk or be interviewed. A psychiatric evaluation was ordered in August, but she remained in jail until she died, reportedly of natural causes, in the jail infirmary on Friday afternoon. Her family however was not informed that Janice Dotson-Stephens was even in jail..and now the situation has become a legal matter..