Video

Bail, Fines, and Fees A look at how bail, fines, and fees in the criminal justice system impact poor communities in New Orleans

The New Orleans criminal justice system, like many other local systems across the country, operates significantly on funding generated from the people cycling through it—from bail and associated fees before trial, to fines and fees levied after conviction. These practices come with hidden costs to defendants—the majority of whom are poor and black—and taxpayers alike. Such “user fees” are often set without consideration of the defendants’ financial means, and failure to pay can keep someone behind bars or land them back in jail. This perpetuates an overreliance on local incarceration that exacts significant unnecessary costs on individuals, communities, and taxpayers. This explainer video from the Past Due project sheds light on fines, fees, and financial bail in New Orleans.

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The Cost of Incarceration in New York State

How Counties Outside New York City Can Reduce Jail Spending and Invest in Communities

Jail populations have fallen significantly across New York State, and crime has dropped as well. But spending on jails continues to climb. In 2019, the 57 counties outside New York City collectively spent more than $1.3 billion to staff and run their jails. Counties must cut jail spending and reinvest those savings in communities most impacted by ...

Publication
  • Lauren Jones, Sandra van den Heuvel, Amanda Lawson
January 15, 2021
Publication