Following litigation by the ACLU, the MacArthur Justice Center, and the Southern Poverty Law Center challenging debtor’s prisons in Biloxi, Jackson, and Corinth, the Mississippi Supreme Court made two changes related to fines and fees in its Rules of Criminal Procedure.
This bill aims to improve the fairness of the Texas criminal justice system’s response to defendants’ inability to pay fines and fees in criminal cases, particularly in traffic and city ordinance violations.
Amy Marie Palacios is a single mother with two children, who earned $20,090 in 2016 - below the federal poverty line for her three-person household. Her driver’s license was suspended in 2015 because she failed to pay the fine for a speeding ticket.
Ms. Corder drove to work with a suspended license because her job was her only source of income. She was stopped by law enforcement, received three new citations, and her car was impounded. As a result, she owed $1320 in fines and fees.
This case alleges that Lexington County operates a modern-day debtors’ prison pursuant to a Default Payment Policy and a Trial in Abstentia Policy.
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.
This bill makes several changes to the way Arizona courts impose and enforce fines and fees. In particular, it increases judges’ power to reduce fines and fees if a defendant is unable to pay and slightly reduces certain state surcharges.
This review of law and policy is the first-year report of a five-year study comprising quantitative and qualitative research that provides a detailed understanding of how fines and fees are imposed and enforced across the United States.
This study analyzes data from more than 1,000 justice-involved youth in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in order to answer two questions: (1) how do demographics and case characteristics correlate with imposition of fines and fees, and (2) how do fines and fees correlate with recidivism rates?
This bill makes dozens of changes to Kentucky’s criminal justice statutes, and several of those changes constitute meaningful fines and fees reform.