In March 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and Office for Access to Justice sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to State Court Administrators and Chief Justices in each state clarifying the legal framework that governs the enforcement of fines and fees, including the importance of procedural protections and, in appropriate cases, the right to counsel.
This Note makes the case for considering state constitutional and statutory prohibitions on debtors’ prisons alongside Bearden v. Georgia claims in legal advocacy opposing excessive fines and fees.
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.
This report documents how and when youth and families face fines, fees and restitution and the economic and legal consequences for failure to pay.
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.
This report is the result of a collaborative research project from 20 community-based organizations that studied the costs of incarceration on families across 14 states.
This bench card details the Washington State Supreme Court Minority and Justice Commission's recommendations for imposing, collecting, and granting relief from juvenile fines and fees in Washington State.
In this policy brief, L.B. Eisen explains how imposing fees upon incarcerated people perpetuates mass incarceration. The brief outlines describes contemporary fee practices, explores the history of those fees, analyzes their constitutionality, and makes several policy recommendations to mitigate collateral consequences.
The YourSTL Courts site is a free online tool that provides basic information about courthouses, courthouse visits, and community service judgments and allows St. Louis County residents to determine if they have outstanding tickets.
Over the course of six months in 2014, the Michigan Supreme Court Ability to Pay workgroup examined the issue of ability to pay and published a report with tools, best practices, and recommendations for judges and court staff around nonpayment incarceration.