How fines, fees and the criminalization of debt strip wealth

Cities across the U.S. are increasingly seeking to balance their budgets and fund their criminal justice systems through ticketing, fees and fines. Attendees will gain an understanding of the various ways governments extract excessive fines and fees and the disparate impact on low-income communities and communities of color. They will also gain an understanding of how our criminal justice system and the criminalization of debt is resulting in modern day debtors prisons. Criminalization of debt, and the aggressive tactics used to enforce this debt, are spiraling financially-marginalized residents into bankruptcy and poverty. This session will examine the issue of fees, fines and the criminalization of debt in four states (California, Illinois, Maryland and North Carolina) with the goal of learning from each other. Panelists will present their research findings and engage attendees in a discussion on solutions for addressing this issue.

Dory Rand, President, Woodstock Institute, Chicago, IL

Paulina Gonzalez, Executive Director, California Reinvestment Coalition, San Francisco, CA
Quisha Mallette, Community Advocate, Reinvestment Partners, Durham, NC
Marceline White, Executive Director, Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, Baltimore, MD

Quisha Mallette
Quisha Mallette – Just Economy 2019_ DebtSpiral_RP.pptx

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