Alexandra Bastien of PolicyLink describes how the imposition of criminal justice fines and fees disproportionately impacts people of color and low-income Americans.
This bill would have ended the practice of suspending licenses as a sanction for nonpayment of fines and fees. It also mandated that judges reduce fines and fees and provided guidelines for determining a defendant’s ability to pay fines and fees.
This bill makes dozens of changes to Kentucky’s criminal justice statutes, and several of those changes constitute meaningful fines and fees reform.
Rebellious lawyering empowers those affected by the issue to come up with solutions to their own problems. It should be a collective effort between the lawyers and legal services clients and community members from grassroots organizing groups.
This bill creates a mechanism for Tennessee drivers who have unpaid court debt to keep their licenses from being revoked on that basis.
This Oklahoma bill, which did not pass, would have amended statutes related to life without parole sentences, payment plans for fines and fees, and how the requirement of restitution can affect conditions of supervision.
This bench card, which can be modified for state and local jurisdictions, advises judges on how to sanction indigent defendants for nonpayment of fines and fees without resorting to incarceration, outlines procedural protections for defendants who are unable to pay, and outlines standards for determining indigence.
For individuals who are unable to pay their fines and fees, their total debt may be cited and entered into the district court judgement docket. A judge may also replace fines and fees with court-ordered community service (credited at a minimum rate of at least federal minimum wage), if community service doesn’t cause undue hardship.
Effective June 7, 2018, this bill makes several changes to the imposition and collection of fines and fees in Washington State.
This joint report by Texas Appleseed and the Texas Fair Defense Project evaluates how often fine-only offenses - offenses punishable only by a fine and no jail sentence – in fact subject Texans to jail time and suspensions of driver’s licenses or the inability to renew a license or register a vehicle because of their inability to pay.