She was a single black woman, age 37, with three children, ages 14, 10, and 8. Her disabled grandmother also lived with her. She worked two jobs to take care of her family and brought home just under $1200 monthly. After paying rent of $715, she had very little left to meet everyone’s needs. She reported having been to Court 1A five times in the past two years, facing charges of driving on a suspended license.
During his search for new employment, Stinnie received four traffic citations that totaled $1002.00 in fines and fees. He was unable to pay, and his license was suspended. The first time he knew his license had been suspended was when he was stopped and cited by the police for driving with a suspended driver’s license.
Rozzie Scott, a resident of Bogalusa, Louisiana was found guilty of stealing $5 worth of food to feed his family. Judge Black ordered him to pay $450 in court fines and fees.
Tzedek DC's client received several red-light camera tickets approximately three years ago. After transitioning, she legally changed her name. However, her driver license still has her old name on it. Because of her unpaid tickets, which she cannot afford to repay at this time, the DMV has told her that she cannot get a new license with her correct legal name on it.
Levi Lane owed $4300.49 in traffic warrants. He was arrested for his inability to pay fines and fees. Mr. Lane was incarcerated for 24 days.
This thesis paper investigates who is being jailed in Rhode Island for outstanding court debt, the impact of the 2008 legislative reforms, and the effects incarceration has on people’s lives.
At the time this report was written, by California law, counties were authorized to recoup the costs of their juvenile justice systems by charging administrative fees to juvenile defendants and their families. This policy report takes a close look at Alameda County’s system of administrative fees.
In 2015, Ms. McKee was arrested for failing to appear at hearings for traffic citations including speeding, driving without a valid license, and no insurance. After two days in jail, Ms. McKee appeared before the judge and pled guilty to all of the charges. Having no regard for her indigence, the court ordered her to pay $1727 in biweekly payments of $232.00. Ms. McKee had to pay $25 to activate the payment plan and make a down payment of $200.00.
This article summarizes the research, advocacy, and communications tools the ACLU of Ohio used to successfully combat debtors’ prisons and provides guidance on how to execute similar strategies in other states.
In this essay, Marsh and Gerrick challenge the most common justification for why debtors’ prisons still exist in present-day America: generating revenue to fund local government and courts. The authors argue that revenue generation is an “incomplete explanation” for debtor’s prisons and point to a variety of other factors that could help complete the picture.