This opinion from the American Bar Association addresses the obligations judges have to assess ability to pay when collecting fines and fees.
This Alabama Appleseed report stems from a survey of 1,011 justice-involved Alabamians. The author provides recommendations for lawmakers, programs, and courts to follow to improve the effectiveness and fairness of diversion.
This report examines the burdensome costs of phone calls, commissary, and disciplinary tickets assessed by New York jails, specifically those outside of New York City.
Driving on Empty shows how driver’s license suspension for nonpayment in Florida detracts from public safety, and outlines the racial and economic disparities perpetuated by this practice.
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.
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.
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.
This fact sheet for Virginia drivers provides guidance on how they can go about reinstating driver’s licenses that were suspended for unpaid court debt.
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.