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Monday 11am: State Lawmakers & U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler To Rally With Advocates at Press Conference Calling for Passage of End Predatory Court Fees Act
National Momentum Growing to Eliminate Court Fees, On Heels of Federal Hearing and Successful California Legislation
Humanitarian Crisis at Rikers Shows Urgent Need to End Criminalization of Poverty and Incarceration for Inability to Pay Fines & Fees
WHAT: Press conference and rally with state lawmakers, U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, and directly impacted advocates calling for passage of the End Predatory Court Fees Act. This legislation would eliminate New York’s court, parole & probation fees, mandatory minimum fines, incarceration on the basis of unpaid fines and fees, and garnishment of commissary accounts.
National momentum for fines & fees reform is rapidly accelerating, on the heels of a Congressional hearing convened by Rep. Nadler and passage of legislation to eliminate court fees in California.
At the rally, New Yorkers will demand an end to our state’s dangerous reliance on court fees, a regressive revenue source that traps millions of low-income residents in a vicious cycle of debt and punishment.
WHEN: Monday Sep. 20 at 11am
WHERE: Foley Square, Manhattan (Note: those unable to attend in-person can register here to watch online.)
WHO: Speakers will include federal and state legislators, impacted New Yorkers and advocates, including:
- Directly impacted campaign leaders from Center for Community Alternatives & New York Communities for Change
- Senator Julia Salazar (sponsor of the End Predatory Court Fees Act)
- Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (sponsor of the End Predatory Court Fees Act)
- U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler
- The Office of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
- The Office of U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez
VISUALS: Dozens of New Yorkers rallying with signs that say: “No Price On Justice,” “End the Criminalization of Poverty,” and “Tax The Rich, Not The Poor”, as well as a ball-and-chain dramatizing the crushing debt New York imposes on its most vulnerable communities.
- The End Predatory Court Fees Act would eliminate court, parole & probation fees, mandatory minimum fines, incarceration on the basis of unpaid fines and fees, and garnishment of commissary accounts for unpaid fines and fees.
- A recent report — New York’s Ferguson Problem — shows how the state’s reliance on fines and fees revenue encourages policing-for-profit, criminalizes poverty, and endangers Black and brown lives.
- Thanks to the work of Debt Free Justice California, California passed the most far-reaching fee elimination reforms to date, ending the collection of 23 fees charged to people in the criminal justice system — such as probation, parole, and local booking fees — and forgiving $16 billion in court debt. And earlier this month, California’s legislature approved eliminating 17 more fees and discharged another $534 million in court debt. Momentum is building in numerous states and municipalities around the U.S. for similar reforms.
- This summer, as U.S. House Judiciary Chairman, U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler convened a first-of-its-kind hearing on the harmful impacts of fines and fees, as well as federal, state and local reform efforts.
About the NO PRICE ON JUSTICE campaign:
No Price on Justice is a coalition of economic and racial justice organizations, grassroots groups, and impacted people working to end New York’s predatory court fines and fees.
Members of the No Price on Justice coalition include: Brooklyn Defender Services, Center for Community Alternatives, Citizen Action, Children’s Defense Fund, Color of Change, Community Service Society, Fiscal Policy Institute, Fines and Fees Justice Center, Legal Aid Society, New York Civil Liberties Union, New York Communities for Change, Partnership for the Public Good, and a dozen other organizations from across New York State.