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.
Together we will promote transparency through data collection and reporting on fines, fees and bail.
Together we will end automatic driver’s license suspension for non-driving related offenses
BAIL AND SCHEDULES
Together we will eliminate bail and bail schedules.
Together we will hold judges and prosecutors accountable to an ability to pay approach to debt collection and setting bail, including non-monetary conditions of release
ABOUT CRIMINAL "JUSTICE" DEBT
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.
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.