After Michael Brown was shot by a member of the Ferguson Police Department, the Department of Justice’s investigation uncovered a pattern of racially discriminatory practices by the Ferguson Police Department which were primarily rooted in the city’s dependence on the criminal justice system to raise revenue. The publication of the Ferguson report is widely viewed as the start of the movement to reform fines and fees in the U.S.
This report relays findings from a study about the effects of driver’s license suspensions in New Jersey. For years, license suspensions have been imposed on motorists for reasons unrelated to public safety (i.e. to enforce payment of fines and fees), and this research suggests that residents of urban and low-income neighborhoods are more vulnerable to suspension than others.