Category Archives: Politics

New Article: “Fines, Fees, and Forfeitures”

Beth A. Colgan, Fines, Fees, and Forfeitures, SSRN, August 15, 2107.  Abstract below:

The use of fines, fees, and forfeitures has expanded significantly in recent years as lawmakers have sought to fund criminal justice systems without raising taxes. Concerns are growing, however, that inadequately designed systems for the use of such economic sanctions have problematic policy outcomes, such as the distortion of criminal justice priorities, exacerbation of financial vulnerability of people living at or near poverty, increased crime, jail overcrowding, and even decreased revenue. In addition, the imposition and collections of fines, fees, and forfeitures in many jurisdictions are arguably unconstitutional, and therefore create the risk of often costly litigation. This chapter provides an overview of those policy and constitutional problems and provides several concrete solutions for reforming the use of fines, fees, and forfeitures.

 

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Op-Ed: “Making America White Again”

Toni Morrison, Making America White Again, The New Yorker, November 21, 2106. [“The choices made by white men, who are prepared to abandon their humanity out of fear of black men and women, suggest the true horror of lost status.”]

News Coverage: “Lawyers for Child Welfare and Legal Aid Under Scrutiny for Facebook Posts.”

Nikita Stewart, Lawyers for Child Welfare and Legal Aid Under Scrutiny for Facebook Posts, New York Times, August, 30, 2017. [Facebook posts pose expectation and standard of conduct questions for Legal Aid workers.]

Op-Ed: “Poverty Matters: Five Key Takeaways from the 2016 Census Data”

John Bouman, Poverty Matters: Five Key Takeaways from the 2016 Census Data Poverty Matters: Five Key Takeaways from the 2016 Census Data, The Shriver Brief, September 13, 2017. [Slight improvements haven not translated into gains for those facing poverty.]

Op-Ed: “Unemployment in Black and White”

The Editorial Board, Unemployment in Black and White, Washington Post, August 28, 2017. [“The hard truth is that the persistence of twice-as-high joblessness for black workers has led policy makers to accept it as normal.”]

Op-Ed: “In California, poor people go to jail, rich people go free. How long will this go on?”

Editorial Board, In California, poor people go to jail, rich people go free. How long will this go on?, The Sacramento Bee, August 28, 2017. [A look into California’s cash bail system and its disparate effect on California’s less fortunate.]

Op-Ed: “Teaching Hurricane Harvey: Ideas and Resources”

Katherine Schulten, Michael Gonchar, Caroline Crossom Giplin, Teaching Hurricane Harvey: Ideas and Resources, New York Times, August 31, 2017. [New perspectives on the natural disaster discourse.]

Op-Ed: “The biggest beneficiaries of the government safety net: Working-class whites”

Tracy Jan, The biggest beneficiaries of the government safety net: Working-class whites, Washington Post, February 16, 2017. [Commentary on the true effect of the government assistance and tax credit programs of 2014.]

Op-Ed: “People who get Medicaid are made to feel powerless. That pushes them out of politics and toward fatalism.”

Jamila Michener, People who get Medicaid are made to feel powerless. That pushes them out of politics and toward fatalism.People who get Medicaid are made to feel powerless. That pushes them out of politics and toward fatalism.People who get Medicaid are made to feel powerless. That pushes them out of politics and toward fatalism., Washington Post Aug. 17, 2017. [An empirical approach to the emotional and psychological effects of Medicaid reception.]

Forthcoming Book: “Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism, and Unequal Politics”

Jamila Michener, Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism, and Unequal Politics, Cambridge University Press. Preface Below: