Above Photo Credit: "It’s Not Just Ferguson" by Johnny Silvercloud licensed under CC BY 2.0
Activities that trigger fines and fees range from minor offenses such as parking tickets to court fees or other fees associated with children in the juvenile justice system.
Much of this judicial debt is not collected because low-income people simply do not have the money to pay fines and fees; this, in turn, causes state and local governments to spend more on the expense of trying to collect on these fees than what they take in. This vicious cycle disproportionally impacts the most financially vulnerable people and communities and plays a role in the growing racial wealth gap in our country.
Government-imposed fines and fees are part of a long history of policies which strip assets from low-income people and erect barriers to them being able to build assets over time.
You are invited to join us on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 Asset Preservation Strategies: How Fines and Fees Strip Wealth from Low-Income Communities. Together we'll learn about the latest research and strategies that state and local leaders can use to ensure that judicial fines and fees do not contribute to burdensome debt, housing and employment barriers, and an increase in imprisonment and recidivism for low-income communities and people of color. We'll explore investment strategies that decrease wealth stripping policies and preserve assets for low-income individuals, particularly people of color, which ultimately helps reduce the racial wealth gap.