This report examines the current status of mandatory surcharges in New York, describes the impact of the surcharges on indigent defendants, and proposes legislative changes, including the elimination of the surcharges.
FFJC Co-Director Joanna Weiss was invited to testify at a New York City Council hearing, “The Cost of Justice,” about fines and fees in NYC courts.
In this article for The Poynter Institute, Al Tompkins underscores the importance of journalists covering local jails and suggests several coverage angles that journalists can use to convince readers to care more about incarceration at the local level.
This case alleges that the City of Buffalo uses vehicle checkpoints in Black and Latino communities to generate revenue.
Jane Doe was driving and arrived at a traffic checkpoint operated by the Buffalo Police Department. Because she lacked a harness for her children's booster seats, she was assessed eight points on her driver’s license, $446 in fines and $450 for a Driver Responsibility Assessment. During this time, Ms. Doe was a full time student with no income. BTVA refused to accept partial payments or provide a payment plan. Unable to pay, her learner’s permit was suspended. In 2018, she used her tax refund to pay her traffic tickets and reinstate her permit.
In August 2018, New York City Council passed Intro 0741, making NYC the first U.S. city to agree to make all phone calls free for people who are incarcerated in city jails.
This article, part of the Vera Institute’s In Our Backyard Stories series, documents the incarceration practices in the small upstate city of Amsterdam, New York.
This report is a culmination of a year of research that involved interviews conducted with 380 people who made contact with systems of justice in eight states and were assessed fines and fees.
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.
This article focuses on a potential reform with increasing bipartisan support: the graduation of economic sanctions according to a person’s financial circumstances, also known as "day fines" or "means-adjusted fines."