Court-imposed fines and fees are ‘entrapping’ poor people: Justice Department

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The Justice Department urged state and local court systems in a recent letter to re-examine their policies surrounding fines and fees, emphasizing that “unjust” sanctions cause low-income people “profound harm,” leave communities of color drowning in prolonged periods of debt, and even violate adults’ and children’s civil rights. 

“The unfettered imposition of fines and fees across the country has entrapped poor people, too many of whom are people of color, in a cycle of escalating debt, unnecessary incarceration and debilitating…

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