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.
The City of Ferguson jails people when they cannot afford to pay their traffic debt and cash bonds for other minor offenses. No inquiry is made into the person’s ability to pay, no alternatives to payment are offered to the individuals, and no counsel is provided.
Individuals must pay their unrelated LaGrange Municipal court fines and fees before gaining access to basic utility services. Further, the City charges $50 for a public defender. Unable to pay for a public defender, most people plead guilty or nolo contendere.
The policies created by Gentry’s office require people to remain incarcerated until their trial unless the person(s) posting cash bonds on their behalf sign a form acknowledging, in writing, notice of and agreement to garnishment of the cash bond deposit.
The complaint alleges Judge Jared Sigler, Judge John Gerkin, and former Judge Curtis DeLapp (Judicial Defendants) failed to conduct inquiries into individuals’ ability to pay before imposing fines and fees or before sanctioning individuals for nonpayment.
Michigan’s jail population has tripled from 1975 to 2016. To learn what led to this dramatic increase and identify alternatives, state and county leaders launched the Michigan Joint Task Force …
The authors of this feature report detail the lived experiences of poor people sentenced to Mississippi’s restitution centers while they work to earn money to pay off court-ordered debts.
The Superior Court lacked the statutory authority to order that Hiskett bear the cost of electronic monitoring during his pretrial release.
Mark Lipski was charged with operating a vehicle with suspended registration. He requested appointed counsel, but the court advised him that he was not entitled to the assistance of appointed counsel because if convicted, he would be sentenced to pay a fine and not to serve a term of incarceration.
This class action alleges that Alabama’s driver’s license suspension practices violate equal protection and due process because people are being punished without any determination of their ability to pay.