Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Wayne A. Logan and Ronald F. Wright (Florida State University - College of Law and Wake Forest University - School of Law) have posted Mercenary Criminal Justice (University of Illinois Law Review, 2014, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Today, a growing number of bill collectors are standing in line to collect on the debt that criminals owe to society. Courts order payment of costs; legislatures levy conviction surcharges; even private, for-profit entities get a piece of the action, collecting fees for probation supervision services and the like. While legal financial obligations (LFOs) have long been a part of the criminal justice system, recent budget cutbacks have prompted an unprecedented surge in their use. The resulting funds are dedicated to sustaining and even expanding system operations. With this shift, criminal justice actors have become mercenaries, in effect working on commission.
While a significant literature now exists on the adverse personal consequences of LFOs for offenders, this article is the first to examine their legal and institutional ramifications.