ST. LOUIS (AP) — Federal lawsuits allege that jails in the St. Louis County towns of Ferguson and Jennings operate essentially as modern-day debtors' prisons, where minor traffic offenses can lead to extended periods behind bars. Two lawsuits were filed on behalf of people who have spent time in jail in such cases — 11 people sued Ferguson, and nine sued Jennings. They seek unspecified damages.

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