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In wake of lawsuit, Rutherford County opens probation department

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Rutherford County is getting back into the probation business after a for-profit experiment ended with the county embroiled in a federal lawsuit.

The Daily News Journal reports the County Commission voted 17-4 Thursday night to open a probation department. The move comes after the Public Safety and Budget committee recommended the move.

The vote closes the book on a failed experiment with the for-profit probation company Pathways Community Corrections.

PCC and Rutherford County are being sued in federal court by seven individuals. The suit, filed in October, accuses the company of extorting probationers by charging exorbitant fees and threatening jail if they fail to pay.

Back in December, 13 inmates being held in the Rutherford County Jail were ordered released by a Nashville judge. The inmates were probationers being held for failure to pay various fees and fines.