This report examines in detail the collateral consequences of Alabama’s court debt system and explores the ways in which it undermines public safety and drives the state’s racial wealth divide.
FFJC Co-Director Joanna Weiss was invited to testify at a New York City Council hearing, “The Cost of Justice,” about fines and fees in NYC courts.
Ms. Phares was convicted of failure to pay nine times and sentenced to 30 days in jail seven times. She entered a treatment program in 2017 and is now drug-free. In 2018, Ms. Phares completed three months of temporary work, bringing home her first paycheck since her son died. She still owes $15000 in court debt. No inquiry was ever made as to her ability to pay.
Mrs. Mahoney was held for 42 days on a cash bail of $1315 because she was unable to pay a failure to appear charge. The charge was later dropped. However, to avoid imprisonment on a contempt charge, she pled guilty and this resulted in $20,000 additional debt.
Arkansas secures payment of court debt through incarceration, driver’s license suspensions, and probation, for which an additional fee is charged.
The American Bar Association developed ten guidelines to ensure that fines and fees do not punish people disproportionately for their poverty.
This case alleges that Lexington County operates a modern-day debtors’ prison pursuant to a Default Payment Policy and a Trial in Abstentia Policy.
Wright pled guilty to misdemeanor offenses of stealing and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and to pay costs including a Board Bill of $1358.28. Wright …
This case alleges that the City of Buffalo uses vehicle checkpoints in Black and Latino communities to generate revenue.
The author argues for an exception to the Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) abstention doctrine (Younger abstention) in cases challenging the criminalization of poverty.