For the first time, the Federal Reserve collected information about how criminal legal debt from fines and fees affects American families.
This article shows how court debt collection practices affect employment opportunities based on research conducted in Illinois and Washington State.
Alexes Harris, the author of this research papers, discusses various criminal legal system fines and fees and argues that imposing these costs can worsen social inequality.
This Alabama Appleseed report stems from a survey of 1,011 justice-involved Alabamians. The author provides recommendations for lawmakers, programs, and courts to follow to improve the effectiveness and fairness of diversion.
This report presents the findings from an Arkansas Community Institute survey concerning the household debt of Pulaski and Jefferson county residents.
This review provides a historical background of court fines and fees and shows how these costs affect people present day.
Driving on Empty shows how driver’s license suspension for nonpayment in Florida detracts from public safety, and outlines the racial and economic disparities perpetuated by this practice.
This report shares the life experiences of Los Angeles County residents to illustrate how criminal justice fines and fees assessed by the County can be overly burdensome and punitive.
In this report, the Criminal Justice Policy Program (CJPP) at Harvard Law School proposes a framework where courts would impose means-adjusted fines as a proportionate sentence for an offense. The authors assert that by adopting the proposed recommendations, courts can ease or prevent the worst harms that excessive financial sanctions create for poor people without waiting for legislative reforms.
Andria Collins is a mother raising eight children in Oklahoma City, OK. She has been struggling with court debt and drivers’ license suspensions for over a decade.