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Juvenile Justice Research to Policy and the Case of Fines

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?

Personal Narrative: Daniel McDonald

McDonald had received several traffic tickets, including many for driving without a license, which he could not obtain due to financial holds. When McDonald went to court to take care of his tickets, the judge refused to give him community service even though McDonald lived below the poverty line. Instead, the judge put him on a payment plan for $50 a month.

Dade v. City of Sherwood

Plaintiffs alleged that the Sherwood’s “hot check” court routinely jailed indigent persons unable to pay court fines and fees without inquiry into their ability to pay.
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