Punishment of Poverty

America’s criminal justice system does not merely fail the poor – it actively targets them. Poor people, particularly people of color, face a far greater risk of being fined, arrested and incarcerated for minor offenses.

Once snared within the criminal justice system, they face continual and unrelenting barriers to freedom. Those who cannot afford bail or are too poor to pay court-ordered fines and fees often find themselves behind bars, separated from jobs, family and communities.

We oppose the criminalization of poverty by representing those directly affected by discriminatory practices and through litigation demanding accountability and reform.

Latest Developments

June 27, 2018

Cash Bond Class Action (Robinson v. Martin) That Led to Widespread Changes in Cook County Bond Court Dismissed on Legal Technicalities

December 5, 2017

Class Action Lawsuit (Nelson v. Constant) Against Gretna, Louisiana for Using “Mayor’s Court” as Modern Day Debtor’s Prison to Balance Books

June 27, 2017

Federal class action (Caliste v. Cantrell) against Orleans Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell for using pre-determined cash bail to bolster Court’s budget