This report was published by the Kansas Supreme Court following a rigorous assessment of Kansas municipal court practices. It advances 18 recommendations for judges and courts to more fairly and constitutionally impose and enforce fines and fees and outlines an implementation plan for reform.
Conditions for individuals on parole have grown more stringent with the addition of electronic monitoring. Electronic monitoring is seen as an alternative form of incarceration, but the deprivation of liberty …
This case challenges the state of Oregon’s policy of suspending the driver’s licenses of people who cannot afford to pay fines and fees for traffic violations.
Taja was forced to sell blood plasma to pay diversion fees for a marijuana treatment program after being pulled over with a small amount of marijuana.
Tina Marie was convicted of failure to pay nine times and sentenced to 30 days in jail seven times. She entered a treatment program in 2017 and is now drug-free. In 2018, Tina Marie completed three months of temporary work, bringing home her first paycheck since her son died. She still owes $15000 in court debt. No inquiry was ever made as to her ability to pay.
Nikita was held for 42 days on a cash bail of $1315 because she was unable to pay a failure to appear charge. The charge was later dropped. However, to avoid imprisonment on a contempt charge, she pled guilty and this resulted in $20,000 additional debt.
Arkansas secures payment of court debt through incarceration, driver’s license suspensions, and probation, for which an additional fee is charged.
The American Bar Association developed ten guidelines to ensure that fines and fees do not punish people disproportionately for their poverty.
Starting in 2018, Texas’ Office of Court Administration (OCA) made changes to the rule that requires Texas counties and cities with a population of 100,000 or more to implement a Collection Improvement Program (CIP). The CIP webpage also includes a variety of sample language for court and program staff to use, including “Sample Payment Plan Application” and “Sample First Written Notice.”
Monetary penalties are commonly levied by the criminal justice system. After the increase of incarceration from the tough-on-crime era starting in the 1970s, the burden of funding court operations shifted …