Court Fees & Fines
BDS opposes court fines and other monetary punishments that do not take into account a persons’ ability to pay. On any given day, hundreds of people are saddled with court-imposed fines, fees, and surcharges that they cannot afford. These monetary sanctions have a pernicious and regressive impact on predominantly Black, Latine/o/a/x/Hispanic, and poor people and their families who are targeted by the criminal legal system.
Fines, like all sanctions, should not have a profoundly more harsh effect on poor people than on people with means. No one should face incarceration for failing to pay a financial sanction. The legal system’s reliance on fines and other monetary sanctions disproportionately extracts wealth from minority communities and deepens inequality in New York. BDS urges the passing of the End Predatory Court Fees Act (A2348-B/S3979-C) which will help break this cycle of poverty and punishment.