July 15, 2019 Public Defense

ABA Guidelines on Fines and Fees Used to Promote Critical Reforms

Malia Brink

In August 2018, the ABA Ten Guidelines on Court Fines and Fees were adopted by the ABA House of Delegates. The Guidelines seek to ensure that no one is subjected to fines and fees without consideration of ability to pay and that disproportionate sanctions, including incarceration, are not imposed simply because someone is poor. The Guidelines build on ABA policies and existing law to create straightforward, coherent guidance to assist courts, administrators, legislators, and advocates seeking to ensure that fines and fees are fairly administered in their jurisdiction.

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