Centre for Justice Innovation
Fines for low-level offences: the impacts for people on low incomes
Research and policy project to examine, and identify solutions for, the distress and hardship caused by court fines and fees imposed on people on low incomes.
Fines for low-level offences such as evading transport fares or television license infringements serve to keep people living on very low incomes in a cycle of indebtedness and financial insufficiency, which perversely contributes to the very financial conditions that prompted the initial offence.
A two-stage strategic research and policy project to examine, and provide solutions for, the distress and hardship experienced by those on low incomes caused by court fines and fees. Our overall aims of the project are to:
- Develop a better understanding of the people who get court fines and fees, especially the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of those who are fined;
- Develop a better understanding of the experience of being fined and the impact of fines and fees on the lives of people on low incomes;
- Generate recommendations for change, working with people with first-hand experience of this issue, experts, practitioners and others;
- Build a coalition of partners to campaign for the adoption of our recommendations for change.