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Shackles Beyond the Sentence: How Legal Financial Obligations Create a Permanent Underclass

1 Impact 46 (2015)

6 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2015  

SpearIt

Texas Southern University - Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Date Written: July 9, 2015

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.

Keywords: LFO, Legal Financial Obligations, Financial Penalties, Collateral Consequences, Reentry

Suggested Citation

SpearIt, Shackles Beyond the Sentence: How Legal Financial Obligations Create a Permanent Underclass (July 9, 2015). 1 Impact 46 (2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2628977

SpearIt (Contact Author)

Texas Southern University - Thurgood Marshall School of Law ( email )

3100 Cleburne Street
Houston, TX 77004
United States
713-313-7276 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://spearitualwritings.com

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