On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, AFN held an engaging discussion about the unintended consequences of government fines and fees. While government fines and fees have long been a component of our municipal and judicial systems, state and local governments have increasingly turned to fines and fees for a variety of infractions, e.g. driving with a broken taillight or making a late payment, to make up for budget shortfalls. The increased use of fines and fees causes undue harm to individuals, households, and communities by creating debt burdens that undermine household financial security. This harm falls disproportionately on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

This webinar:

  • provided an overview of the financial insecurity many individuals across the US face,
  • described how debt from government fines and fees compounds this insecurity, and
  • discussed strategies that can be pursued by the philanthropic community to support solutions.


Joanna Ramani, Aspen Institute Financial Security Program
Josephine Kerr Davis, Judge for Judicial District 14B – Durham, NC
Anna M. Valencia, Chicago City Clerk
Sarah Willis Ertur, JP Morgan Chase & Co (Moderator)