Felony convictions and court debt have become barriers to restoring voting rights for millions of people living in the U.S. This report provides a history of poll taxes and explains how felony disenfranchisement serves as a barrier perpetuating the same inequality-producing results: African-Americans and poor people lose the right to vote and struggle to regain voting rights at disproportionate rates.
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.
FFJC Co-Director Joanna Weiss participated in a Smart on Crime Innovations Conference panel about eliminating “user fees” in the justice system.
The American Bar Association developed ten guidelines to ensure that fines and fees do not punish people disproportionately for their poverty.
In this article for Sociological Forum, Professors Kasey Hendricks and Daina Cheyenne Harvey examine whether Ferguson’s fines and fees practices are typical among local governments.
This study found that cities with larger black populations are more likely to use fines to generate revenue, but black legislators reverse that pattern.
This Guide for Policy Reform by Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program is organized into four issue areas: conflicts of interest, poverty penalties and poverty traps (when people are forced to pay more or face harsher sanctions because of their poverty), the ability-to-pay determination, and transparency and accountability. Under each of these sections, a description of the problem is followed by legislative, judicial, and executive reform suggestions for people at the state level to use and incorporate into their efforts.
This seminal report examines fines and fees practices in the fifteen U.S. states with the highest prison populations, focusing on “user fees” and their impact on individuals reentering society after incarceration.
To develop an understanding of how fines and fees are imposed and enforced in Washington State, this study analyzes 50 interviews with Washington State residents as well as data from 3,366 Washington Superior Court cases.