Doraville, Georgia, a 10,000-person suburb of Atlanta, has become notorious for its revenue-generating speed traps and housing code enforcement cases.
Plaintiffs argue that by budgeting for revenue from fines and fees, Doraville creates a perverse incentive for the city’s police, prosecutors, and judges.
Hilda Brucker received citations for rotted wood and chipped paint, weeds in her yard and ivy on her trees, and cracks in her driveway.
Individuals must pay their unrelated LaGrange Municipal court fines and fees before gaining access to basic utility services. Further, the City charges $50 for a public defender. Unable to pay for a public defender, most people plead guilty or nolo contendere.
This review of law and policy is the first-year report of a five-year study comprising quantitative and qualitative research that provides a detailed understanding of how fines and fees are imposed and enforced across the United States.
The case alleged that Sentinel’s practice of requiring people under its supervision to pay for and undergo drug testing without a court order violated due process and constituted an unconstitutional search.
In this video, John Oliver details the devastating impacts that low-income Americans suffer due to fines and fees and the involvement of private probation companies.
This seminal report examines fines and fees practices in the fifteen U.S. states with the highest prison populations, focusing on “user fees” and their impact on individuals reentering society after incarceration.