TYPES OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEBT
The Committee to Curb Criminal Justice Debit seeks to address systemic injustices connected to use of fines, fees, and bail.
Fines are monetary punishments
imposed for infractions, misdemeanors or felonies.
Excessive fines disproportionately affect the poor, destabilizing those already living at the economic margins and further leading to cycles of poverty and imprisonment
Fees are itemized payments for court activities, supervision, or incarceration
charged to defendants and used
to support operational costs in the criminal justice system.
Inability to pay leads to additional fees, which can trap the poor in never ending cycles of debt.
Bail is a bond payment for a defendant's release from jail. Bail is posted prior to court proceedings.
Each year, thousands of people sit in jail only because they can’t afford to post bail, placing them at risk of losing their jobs and other collateral consequences.
ABOUT COURT DEBT
Through systems of debt, indigent defendants
remain entangled in the criminal justice system before being convicted of a crime and long after serving their sentence,
at times ending up back behind bars due their inability to pay.
Criminal Justice Debt is a complicated and
wide reaching issue. We are working to address these harms
from a variety of angles. Click below to learn more
about our strategies and work.