The National Council of Juvenile Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) passed a resolution advocating for the reduction or elimination of fines and fees in juvenile courts. The resolution was published alongside a judicial bench card that outlines types of financial obligations that youth and families may encounter in juvenile and family court, details the impacts of those obligations, and explains how judges can address fines and fees in their own courtrooms. The bench card includes several practice recommendations for juvenile and family court judges.
This report exposes how the private debt collection industry uses the court system to coerce payment from people, many of whom cannot afford to pay their debts.
In Michigan, legislation that abolishes the state’s “driver responsibility fees” took effect on October 1, 2018. These fees were introduced in 2003 as a way to balance the state budget, and they have imposed a crushing burden on at least 350,000 drivers statewide.
Filing for bankruptcy to avoid car impoundments and or a boot that immobilizes their vehicle has become a popular “remedy” for Chicago drivers who can’t afford to pay off debt from traffic tickets, parking violations, and vehicle compliance infractions.
This short documentary film tells the story of two St. Louis women who were unjustly incarcerated because of failure to pay their fines and fees.
Since 2010, dozens of cities in California have hired a private law firm to prosecute people on the city’s behalf for municipal code violation and in civil forfeiture cases.
In this report, the Chicago Jobs Council describes how suspending a person’s driver’s license for unpaid fines and fees can prevent them from ever paying off their debt and destabilize their finances.
The author conducted qualitative research to assess the effect of private probation on people under parole supervision for misdemeanor offenses in Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. In some of these states, private parole officers have the authority to control critical aspects of a person’s parole terms.
This bill provides that a court cannot deny a petition to seal or expunge a criminal record simply because the individual has not satisfied outstanding court debt, and waives certain fees that apply to expungement applications.
This article, part of the Vera Institute’s In Our Backyard Stories series, documents the incarceration practices in the small upstate city of Amsterdam, New York.