Doraville, Georgia, a 10,000-person suburb of Atlanta, has become notorious for its revenue-generating speed traps and housing code enforcement cases.
This study assesses the use of fines and fees for misdemeanor crimes in Nevada and Iowa to highlight the perverse incentives embedded in the practice of using courts as revenue centers. The article proposes the concept of “monetary myopia,” or a short-sighted focus on revenue at the expense of other concerns, to explain the states’ behavior.
In 2017, the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, Financial Justice Project, and Mayor’s Office of Budget and Public Policy studied the collateral consequences of criminal justice administrative fees on San Franciscans. Their findings were published in this report, which also coincides with 2018 San Francisco County legislation that abolished all discretionary fees imposed by the county.
This report reveals that California programs and services supported by revenue from fines and fees have been compromised by low-income motorists’ inability to pay those fines and fees.
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 short documentary film tells the story of two St. Louis women who were unjustly incarcerated because of failure to pay their fines and fees.
Broadly speaking, the Act streamlines, standardizes, and reduces court fees in order to facilitate a sliding scale fee waiver for defendants who cannot afford to pay. (Without these changes, the sliding scale would have been severely limited.)
This statute would require the Commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety to report annually on driver’s license suspensions and revocations to the legislature and the public. The report must …
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.
The Mecklenburg County working group requested the assistance of Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program, which helped the group develop two bench cards. One bench card provides guidance for judges when imposing fines and fees; the other outlines a process for sanctioning defendants who fail to pay fines and fees.