Mark Lipski was charged with operating a vehicle with suspended registration. He requested appointed counsel, but the court advised him that he was not entitled to the assistance of appointed counsel because if convicted, he would be sentenced to pay a fine and not to serve a term of incarceration.
The City of Ferguson jails people when they cannot afford to pay their traffic debt and cash bonds for other minor offenses. No inquiry is made into the person’s ability to pay, no alternatives to payment are offered to the individuals, and no counsel is provided.
This case challenges a marijuana diversion program operated by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. People who can afford to pay finish the program in 3 months. Those who can’t pay must stay in the program for at least six months or until they pay the fees owed, even if they have satisfied every program requirement other than payment.
This study explores how local and state governments allow corporations to generate profits from public criminal justice institutions and examines how that structure harms people forced to pay for private services.
This ordinance eliminates criminal justice administrative fees charged by Alameda County, California. In particular, it eliminates county-imposed probation fees, public defender fees, and fees associated with the Sheriff’s Office Work Alternative Program.
This report examines in detail the collateral consequences of Alabama’s court debt system and explores the ways in which it undermines public safety and drives the state’s racial wealth divide.
Taja Collier was forced to sell blood plasma to pay diversion fees for a marijuana treatment program after being pulled over with a small amount of marijuana.
The American Bar Association developed ten guidelines to ensure that fines and fees do not punish people disproportionately for their poverty.
This report documents that the families of children charged with crimes are forced to pay for the cost of legal counsel in all but 10 U.S. states – despite the Constitution’s guarantee that young people who are indigent are entitled to court-appointed counsel.
In the summer of 2018, New Orleans became the first city in the South to abolish fees charged to youth involved in the juvenile justice system.