This Brennan Center research report analyzes the numerous disadvantages of the current criminal justice fine and fee systems of ten counties in Texas, Florida, and New Mexico.
This report shares the life experiences of Los Angeles County residents to illustrate how criminal justice fines and fees assessed by the County can be overly burdensome and punitive.
This report provides the findings from the first in-depth study of a large-scale court-ordered community service system in modern-day America. The authors examined the experiences of about 5,000 people who were ordered to perform community service by the Los Angeles Superior Court between 2013 and 2014.
The concept of taxation by citation and its subsequent harms are dissected and analyzed in this Institute for Justice report. Through the profiling of three Georgia cities–Morrow, Riverdale, and Clarkston–the authors use traffic and ordinance violation data to suggest that these towns’ use of code enforcement power is geared towards revenue generation rather than public safety.
In this report, the Criminal Justice Policy Program (CJPP) at Harvard Law School proposes a framework where courts would impose means-adjusted fines as a proportionate sentence for an offense. The authors assert that by adopting the proposed recommendations, courts can ease or prevent the worst harms that excessive financial sanctions create for poor people without waiting for legislative reforms.
This GOVERNING report presents the findings of a nationwide analysis of several jurisdictions' fine and fee revenue rates and how much of this funding source supports general budgets.
his brief describes the various ways in which payment plans are administered inconsistently across Florida’s counties. The author argues that these conflicting procedures breed confusion among people who have court debt, especially those who owe money to courts in different jurisdictions.
Between 2017 and 2018, the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Municipal Court Operations, Fines, and Fees conducted a review of New Jersey’s municipal court practices. This report provides an overview of historical reform efforts, modern judicial reform efforts, and makes 17 recommendations related to equal access, fairness, and judicial independence.
Felony convictions and court debt have become barriers to restoring voting rights for millions of people living in the U.S. This report provides a history of poll taxes and explains how felony disenfranchisement serves as a barrier perpetuating the same inequality-producing results: African-Americans and poor people lose the right to vote and struggle to regain voting rights at disproportionate rates.
The Vera Institute’s “Paid in Full” report outlines a path towards fines and fees reform, summarizing relevant reform litigation and detailing specific steps that the city of New Orleans can take to reduce the harms of pre-trial and conviction fees.