This video describes how people, especially those of fewer means, can be jailed for unpaid court fines and fees.
In November 2015, McNeil pled guilty to driving with a revoked license. She was placed on probation for 11 months and 29 days and ordered to pay $426 in fines and fees, $25 each week in court costs and fines, $45 a month in supervision fees, and $45 for each drug test.
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.
This law review article makes the case that the Eight Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause may be a better, albeit underdeveloped, provision to address the epidemic of debtor’s prisons.
This bill was proposed to enshrine Rule 26.6(b) of the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure in state law. Its provisions are nearly identical: it mandates a determination of willfulness before a court may sanction a defendant for nonpayment of fines and fees, and provides alternatives for courts when failure to pay was not willful.
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.
This issue brief discusses how fines and fees harm communities and puts forward several strategies that prosecutors can use to mitigate these harms.
Velia Duenas, a homeless, married mother of two children, had her license suspended because she was unable to pay $1088 for three juvenile citations. She continued to drive, received three misdemeanor convictions, and spent 141 days in jail because she was unable to pay the fines.
This case study of municipal courts in Colorado is based on a multi-year ACLU investigation which revealed that despite a bipartisan reform effort in the state legislature, many of Colorado’s municipal courts persistently ignore both constitutional standards and state law and continue to employ practices that punish defendants for their poverty.