While the public has become aware of how various aspects of the criminal legal system produce unjust results, one area that many are less aware of is that things seemingly as simple as fines and fees can devastate millions of Americans who are poor, end up in debt, lose their vehicles and other impacts.
The Fines and Fees Justice has been working to identify the problems associated with fines and fees, educate the community and change laws.
They note: “Those who cannot immediately pay these costs face additional fees, license suspensions, loss of voting rights, arrest and jail. Stuck in a cycle of punishment and poverty, people can lose their jobs, their homes, and even their children. We have created a two-tier system of justice where poor people – and particularly communities of color – are disproportionately punished.”
Everyday Injustice speaks with FFJC co-director Joanna Weiss about fines and fees and how they impact the lives of poor Americans.