Research reveals that more than $50 billion in debt from fines and fees is currently held by approximately 10 million people because of their involvement in the criminal justice system. 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 uncollected, causing state and local governments to incur further spending on fee collection. This cycle disproportionately impacts the financially vulnerable, and plays a role in the growing racial wealth gap in our country.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 AFN hosted Asset Preservation Strategies: How Fines and Fees Strip Wealth from Low-Income Communities. The speakers shared 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 explored investment strategies that preserve assets for low-income individuals, particularly people of color, which ultimately can help reduce the racial wealth gap.
Alexandra Bastien, Senior Program Associate, PolicyLink
Anne Stuhldreher, Director of Financial Justice in the Office of the Treasurer for the City and County of San Francisco
José García, Program Officer, Inclusive Economies, Ford Foundation
Please click through the resources from the speakers detailed in their presentations, found in the PDF Slideshow (link above and here)
The San Francisco Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector: SAN FRANCISCO FINES & FEES TASK FORCE: Initial Findings and Recommendations