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.
Over the course of 2 months and 39 interviews, the authors of this report aimed to better understand how the punishment of prison and its collateral consequences (and fines and fees in particular) affect individuals’ financial situations and stability.
Maria was recently terminated from a job in her field of training, green construction, because her license was suspended for unpaid tickets, and she could not drive between job sites. With two kids and no job or savings, she is unable to pay the debt. Because the debt has been referred to a collections agency, she is also prevented from performing community service in lieu of payment. Her previous employer would hire her if her license was reinstated, but without a job or income to pay her debt, she has no way of getting her license back.
Andrew, a 22-year-old single father, was working as a mechanic and making regular installment payments to the court on a couple of traffic tickets. A few months into the payments, his two-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia.