CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, July 24, 2015

SpearIt on Financial Obligations Beyond Sentence

SpearitSpearIt (Texas Southern University - Thurgood Marshall School of Law) has posted Shackles Beyond the Sentence: How Legal Financial Obligations Create a Permanent Underclass (1 Impact 46 (2015)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This essay argues that legal financial obligations (LFOs) literally make the poor pay for failed criminal justice policy. Reliance on mass imprisonment has created a financial vortex, which sucks away the majority of over $50 billion spent on corrections by the states alone. This penal entrenchment has pushed legislatures to devise ways to make criminals help foot the bill, with LFOs representing a modern iteration of state and local fundraising. LFOs add to an array of legal consequences that create a permanent underclass and keep a lock on individuals long after they leave prison. It is a schema that serves little social or penal purpose, and instead embodies the worst of bad policy undermining the criminal justice system.

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