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FFJC New York

New York’s fines and fees need reform now

Fines and fees make New York’s communities less safe, exacerbate poverty and extract millions of dollars from low-income communities and communities of color. Those with money can easily pay their way out of punishment. Those who can’t afford to pay these exorbitant fines and fees, risk losing their job, being charged more money in fees, arrest and even jail. We need change now.

The Fines and Fees Justice Center’s (FFJC) New York state campaign is the state’s first sustained effort to reform harmful fines and fees. FFJC New York is building broad-based coalitions from across the political spectrum including impacted people, grassroots organizers, judges, public defenders, legislators, faith-based leaders and advocacy organizations.

Campaigns

No Price on Justice

New York’s predatory court fees encourage policing-for-profit, endanger Black and brown lives, and criminalize poverty. No Price on Justice is a coalition of economic and racial justice advocates, grassroots organizations, and impacted people working together to end New York’s predatory court fees. Our mission is to end criminal legal system fees and find more equitable ways to fund government. Ready to join the fight? Visit No Price on Justice to learn more about joining our coalition.

Updates & Upcoming Events

Rally to Demand No Price on Justice — April 14th at 10 AM

Join the No Price on Justice Campaign for a rally to demand the elimination of New York’s predatory court, parole and probation fees. We will be meeting Wednesday, April 14th at 10AM at 100 Centre Street, Manhattan Criminal Court. If you’re not able to make the rally in-person, you can tune-in on Zoom here.

Driven by Justice

Driven by Justice is a statewide coalition of grassroots, economic justice, and civil rights organizations, public defenders, and directly affected people working to end the unfair and discriminatory practice of suspending people’s driver’s licenses for nonpayment of traffic tickets in New York State. On Dec 31st 2020, Driven by Justice celebrated a major victory when Governor Cuomo signed the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act (DLSRA) into law. How will the DLSRA affect you? Get answers to all your frequently asked questions about the DLSRA in our latest fact sheet.

Updates & Upcoming Events

New York’s Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act Goes Into Effect

The Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act (DLSRA) officially went into effect on March 9th, 2021. The DLSRA ends license suspensions due to non-payment of traffic fines, while making affordable payment plans available (at 2% of a person’s monthly income or $25/month, whichever is greater). The reform also reinstates the licenses of people who currently have a suspended license due to non-payment of traffic fines. Read the full details of the amended DLSRA in our press release.

Connecting Families

In New York, a call from jail can cost 9.95 for just 15 minutes. Now more than ever — as we struggle through a public heath crisis — communication is a vital lifeline for incarcerated people and their families. Connecting Families is a coalition of impacted peoples and advocates fighting to end the predatory costs of prison communication and ensure that all incarcerated people and their loved ones can communicate routinely and without barriers to access.

Advocacy Resources

Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act Facts & FAQs — The Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act officially went into effect on March 9th 2021. Find out what you can do if your driver’s license was suspended for unpaid traffic fines or for not appearing in court, and how to get on an installment payment plan in Driven’s by Justice FAQ sheet.

New York’s Ferguson Problem — In 2010, Ferguson generated over 12% of its revenue from fines and fees. By 2015, the city planned to collect over 23% of its revenue through fines and fees. But Ferguson isn’t the only city suffering from a reliance on fines and fees. In New York, many localities’ reliance on fines and fees is just as bad — and in some cases worse — than when the Ferguson report was released in 2015. Learn more about New York’s dangerous reliance on fines and fees revenue in No Price on Justice‘s latest report New York’s Ferguson Problem.

COVID-19 Fines and Fees Reform Tracker and Policy Recommendations New York’s communities, jobs, and government budgets have been decimated by COVID-19. An estimated 2.5 million New Yorkers work in service and sales fields shut down by the crisis and need immediate economic relief. Has your locality changed their fines and fees policies during the COVID-19 recession? How will state and local governments attempt to fill budget gaps in 2021? See how New York’s fines and fees policies have changed throughout the pandemic and read FFJC’s latest COVID-19 Policy Recommendations on the COVID-19 Reform Tracker.

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