In this video recording of a White House Forum on Access to Justice panel, FFJC Co-Director Lisa Foster (then Director of the Office of Access to Justice at the Department of Justice) moderates a panel about how fines and fees in the criminal justice system can lead to a myriad of civil woes for low-income Americans.
This report discusses how criminal disenfranchisement laws prevent millions of people from regaining the right to vote because they cannot afford criminal legal fines and fees.
At the time this report was written, by California law, counties were authorized to recoup the costs of their juvenile justice systems by charging administrative fees to juvenile defendants and their families. This policy report takes a close look at Alameda County’s system of administrative fees.
This report documents how and when youth and families face fines, fees and restitution and the economic and legal consequences for failure to pay.
This article compares the fines and fees practices of Ferguson, Missouri and other municipal governments with the older economic technique of sharecropping.
This 2015 report provides a comprehensive overview of how California’s approach to the enforcement of fines and fees for traffic violations creates a two-tiered justice system—those who can afford to pay escape the system, while those who are too poor to pay are trapped.
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.