Why Are We Still Sending People to Jail for Being Poor? It’s Time to Truly Abolish Debtors’ Prisons

While courts continue to impose fines and fees, we need to be sure that they aren’t trapping people in a cycle of debt, punishment, and incarceration that is difficult to escape. Effective ability-to-pay policies must include a presumption that some individuals will not be able to pay court-imposed costs. Having a court-appointed attorney, being on government assistance, qualifying for public housing, or being unable to work should be recognized as the markers of poverty that they are, and courts must stop jailing those unable to pay.

Mayor Bowser Made a Wrong Turn on Traffic Safety. A Real Task Force Can Get DC Moving in the Right Direction.

In Washington, DC, my Mayor, Muriel Bowser, just rolled out a plan to install 342 more traffic cameras throughout the city. And while the Mayor said that she hopes “we don’t collect anything from the cameras,” this camera rollout is part of her budget plan, which would use the expected $580 million in revenue to address the city’s budget shortfalls over the next four years. Strange that a Mayor would plan a budget around a revenue stream she hopes doesn’t come through.