This brief provides background information on criminal justice system fines, fees, and bail and argues that these costs disproportionately impact poor people.
Over the course of 2 months and 39 interviews, the authors of this report aimed to better understand how the punishment of prison and its collateral consequences (and fines and fees in particular) affect individuals’ financial situations and stability.
On September 17, 2015, Alabama Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins opened his court session by giving two options to people who did not have the money to pay their court fines and fees: give blood, or go to jail.
This report is the result of a collaborative research project from 20 community-based organizations that studied the costs of incarceration on families across 14 states.
In this policy brief, L.B. Eisen explains how imposing fees upon incarcerated people perpetuates mass incarceration. The brief outlines describes contemporary fee practices, explores the history of those fees, analyzes their constitutionality, and makes several policy recommendations to mitigate collateral consequences.
In this video, John Oliver details the devastating impacts that low-income Americans suffer due to fines and fees and the involvement of private probation companies.
Donyale Thomas was in the Ferguson jail for over a week before the City informed her that they would accept $200 for her release.
Roelif Carter pled guilty and was assessed fines and fees. Fear of jail coerced Mr. Carter to make the payment until he simply could not afford to do so.
Keilee Fant is a 37-year-old certified nurse assistant and single mother who was arrested for unpaid traffic tickets while taking her children to school. She was jailed over 12 times in 20 years for her inability to pay the debt.
This video by Human Rights Watch shows how private probation companies can strip people of basic necessities and jail them because they can’t afford to pay their court debt and exorbitant probation fees.