This report provides the findings from the first in-depth study of a large-scale court-ordered community service system in modern-day America. The authors examined the experiences of about 5,000 people who were ordered to perform community service by the Los Angeles Superior Court between 2013 and 2014.
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.
his brief describes the various ways in which payment plans are administered inconsistently across Florida’s counties. The author argues that these conflicting procedures breed confusion among people who have court debt, especially those who owe money to courts in different jurisdictions.
Nevada AB 416 clarifies that community service credits can be applied toward outstanding fines and fees, and provides that community service hours will be credited against debt at a rate of $10 per hour or the state’s minimum wage, whichever is higher.
Nevada AB 434 makes several changes regarding collection of fines, fees, and restitution. Previously, the law allowed courts to enter a civil judgment; garnish property or wages; suspend driver’s licenses; and incarcerate defendants for nonpayment.
This legislation makes several changes to Texas courts’ imposition and collection of fines and fees, with a particular emphasis on defendants’ ability to pay and alternatives to fines and fees for indigent defendants.
In Chicago, Alderman Gilbert Villegas has introduced legislation that would reduce the burden of traffic fines and fees for low-income Chicago residents by providing alternatives to fines and fees and improving access to payment plans.
This report was published by the Kansas Supreme Court following a rigorous assessment of Kansas municipal court practices. It advances 18 recommendations for judges and courts to more fairly and constitutionally impose and enforce fines and fees and outlines an implementation plan for reform.
The American Bar Association developed ten guidelines to ensure that fines and fees do not punish people disproportionately for their poverty.
This bench card is meant to educate Washington State judges about procedural protections owed to defendants who are ordered to pay fines and fees in criminal court.