Our justice system is supposed to operate with integrity – providing equal justice for all. Yet in far too many places in the United States, court fines and fees have put an exorbitant price tag on justice. Across the country, courts impose fines as a punishment for minor traffic and municipal code violations, misdemeanors and felonies. Courts then tax people with fees, surcharges, and costs used to fund the justice system and other government services.
Fines and fees devastate the lives of millions of Americans. People who cannot immediately pay face additional fees, license suspensions, loss of voting rights and, far too frequently, arrest and jail. Millions of Americans get trapped in the justice system simply because they can’t afford to pay fines and fees. Stuck in a cycle of punishment and poverty, people can lose their jobs, their homes, and even their children. We’ve created a two-tier system of justice where poor people – and particularly communities of color – are disproportionately punished.
As national center for advocacy, information, and collaboration, the Fines and Fees Justice Center’s mission is to create a justice system that treats individuals fairly, ensures public safety and community prosperity, and is funded equitably. FFJC works collaboratively with affected communities and justice system stakeholders to end abusive collection practices and eliminate the justice tax.
To accomplish our mission, the Fines and Fees Justice Center (FFJC) is pursuing a three-pronged approach:
- Developing a replicable advocacy model for comprehensive state-based reform,
- Creating a national Clearinghouse to provide information about reform efforts in all 50 states, and
- Providing support for reform efforts around the country.
- Takes donations. Tax status not listed.
ContactContact Name: Lisa Foster, Co-Director
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HQ AddressState: NY
City: New York
185 W Broadway Suite C538