Foster Cook’s report includes quantitative and qualitative survey results from 943 participants from 13 counties in Alabama. The report includes information about the collateral consequences of increased court costs on incarcerated people in Alabama, including harsh penalties for nonpayment and the phenomenon of defendants turning to crime as a funding source to pay their fines and fees.
The SPLC filed a lawsuit challenging Cleveland’s and Watts’ incarceration as a violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution.
This Hawaii law specifies criteria that must be satisfied before a court can sentence a person to pay a fine. If the fine is the only punishment included in a sentence, the court cannot assess the fine unless “the person is or will be able to pay the fine,” and “the fine will not prevent the defendant from making restitution to the victim.”
Stearns examines the imposition and enforcement of Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) in Washington State on people unable to pay them and argues that the resulting disparities impact the ability of the criminal justice system to impose fair and meaningful penalties that hold people accountable and reduce recidivism.
Mr. Blazina was sentenced to 20 months in prison for second degree assault. Attached to his sentence was over $3000 in fees and tens of thousands of dollars in restitution. The Washington Supreme Court held that individualized inquiries of the defendant’s current and future ability to pay must be made before imposing Legal Financial Obligations.
Included in the appellant’s sentence was “court costs” of $234. The appellant appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to support the amount of the costs.
This report examines the impact of the Florida Legislature’s decision to levy “user fees” on people accused and convicted of traffic violations, misdemeanors and felonies without providing exemptions for the indigent.
This report explains how Maryland’s parole supervision fee works against the rehabilitative goals of the state’s supervision policies and how the $40/month fee can impede a person’s successful reentry.
This working paper details the collateral consequences of fines and fees in New York and highlights how the conflicting goals of assessing fines and fees – punishment as well as the need for revenue – can threaten criminal justice system outcomes and disproportionately impact marginalized communities.
Harrison County Jail was a modern day debtors’ prison. Officers went to predominantly African American neighborhoods arbitrarily checking people to see if they had paid their court fines and fees.