Coverage of Punishing Poverty report

Our report on probation fees in Massachusetts is receiving some great press coverage.

by Wendy Sawyer, December 13, 2016

In case you missed it: Last week, the Prison Policy Initiative released a new report showing that people in Massachusetts’ poorest communities are disproportionately charged probation supervision fees. Our report, which comes on the heels of reports from the state Senate and Trial Court, adds to the mounting evidence that court fines and fees are overdue for a structural overhaul.

Our report is receiving some great press coverage:

Probation fees pose an undue burden
A Boston Globe editorial cites our report to argue that the Legislature should eliminate probation fees.

Probation fees hit poor the hardest, says report
Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine puts our report into the context of two recent reports on court fines and fees from the state Senate and Trial Court.

Editorial: State probation fees need reform
The Daily Hampshire Gazette cites our “eye opening” report in an editorial calling for reform.

Report: Probation costs fall disproportionately on the poorest
The Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Emily Cutts provides thorough coverage of our findings and Sen. Mike Barrett’s response.

Poverty, Punishment, and Probation: A Toxic Brew
WGBH’s Daniel Medwed gives some context to the issue of court fines and fees, relating the report to the practices uncovered in Ferguson, Missouri.

Nonprofit encourages elimination of probation fees
Shira Shoenberg provides another overview of the report’s findings and connections to the recommendations of the Trial Court’s report.

Report: Probation fees Hit Poor MA Communities the Hardest
Mike Clifford covers the report for the Public News Service, using one of our graphs.



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  • Feb 21, 2019:
    Volunteer Attorney Stephen Raher will be presenting his paper “The Company Store and the Literally Captive Market: Consumer Law in Prisons and Jails” at the Consumer Law Conference at Berkeley Law School. The paper will be presented and discussed at 4:00pm.

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