Thousands of New Yorkers Face Arrest Each Year For Not Paying Fines and Fees, Report Finds

The city comptroller, state lawmakers, and advocates call on the state to end its use of fines and fees in the legal system.

The report found that in 2017, New York City criminal courts levied $23 million in fines, fees, and surcharges—penalties that disproportionately fell on low-income people and communities of color. “For too many New Yorkers, our criminal justice system foments an unrelenting cycle of poverty and punishment,” Stringer said in a statement.

Stringer’s report lays out steps to address the crisis in New York state, including ending or amending city contracts in which private companies levy exorbitant fees, and abolishing incarceration as a punishment for court debt. Neither the mayor’s office nor the governor’s office immediately responded to the report.

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