UPDATED at 4:48 p.m.
Edwin W. Kelly, administrative judge of the New Hampshire Circuit Courts, disagrees with ACLU-NH findings that there is a “systemic problem” with people being jailed because they can’t afford to pay court fines. “I think their numbers show the opposite, that there is not a systemic problem,” Kelly said. “It is such a small number of cases (148) compared to the total number of (83,000) cases” that were adjudicated in circuit courts in 2013. However ACLU-NH Legal Director Gilles Bissonnette said Kelly and a press release issued by the state Supreme Court are incorrectly interpreting the numbers. “The real issue is how indigent defendants are treated by the courts when they are unable to pay fines and are ultimately jailed – a small subset of this 83,000 figure,” Bissonnette said.