Criminalizing Poverty In The Criminal Justice System

830 Words4 Pages
Goal: Post about criminalizing poverty
Total words in document: 830
Title: Criminalizing Poverty

The way the criminal justice system in this country works does not create a level playing field for all offenders. The ability of the offender to pay greatly influences the amount of time spent in corrections, not only because of the policy of restitution, but also with the added Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) placed upon the accused by the criminal justice system. These LFOs are assessed with no regard to the ability to pay and include court fines, cost of care, cost of testing and evaluation, cost of probation and supervision, cost of expungement, and the cost of counsel. The inability to pay these costs results in a modern day debtors’
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Even for something as minor as a traffic fine, the inability to pay can cause the principle to grow rapidly when late fees and then interest (12% annually) are charged for non-payment. This can result in wage garnishment and loss of driver’s license, which affects the individual’s ability to earn a living to support themselves and their families. The end result of these practices is a cycle of poverty that can be felt for generations, as children grow up with absent parents because of the inability to pay debts incurred for even minor…show more content…
They were also meant to highlight the need for reform and current reform efforts. As a result of the conferences, a guide was produced to identify resources and publications to address the consequences of Legal Financial Obligations, so that policy-makers can use the latest science and data to make best practices reforms to justice

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