News12 First at Five/ Sept. 19 2013
Augusta,Ga--There could be refunds and more lawsuits coming in connection with Augusta's Private Probation company. We're told Sentinel Probation Services has been turning away clients.
"They told me I had to be turned away, because they have something going on with their system. They had to wait until the judge cleared something," said Probationer Alex Smith.
This court order could be that something. A Richmond County Judge ruled this week on cases surrounding Sentinel Probation Services. Judge Craig decided the court can't extend the length of a misdemeanor sentence that is supervised by a private probation service.
He also ruled that people who have paid fees to the company after their original sentence and have paid for electronic monitoring for misdemeanors are due a refund.
"I look at as a blessing and keep going," said Probationer Avery Cropps.
"It's double jeopardy," said Smith.
Avery Cropps and Alex Smith are both on probation for traffic tickets. They say the system is constantly draining their pockets.
"I got in a wreck and got four tickets. They stretched it out year after year and it's just now coming into affect," said Cropps.
"I'm outraged, because I could be using that money for something else other than paying them," said Smith.
We went inside to get answers to find out if people were being turned away. Staff told us to call the corporate office who have yet to respond.