Fines, jail, probation, debt: Court policies punish the poor - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Fines, jail, probation, debt: Court policies punish the poor

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By TRAVIS LOLLER
Associated Press

LIBERTY, Tenn. (AP) - State and city officials in the U.S. who are unwilling to raise taxes have steadily increased their reliance on court fines and fees.

Poor defendants who can't pay fees are jailed, clogging local lockups with people who in many cases have not been convicted of any crime.

Others end up on a probation that doesn't end until all debts are erased.

A growing number of groups are challenging these practices, but they persist - despite a Supreme Court decision declaring them unconstitutional.

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