Focus and Focus+ Icon

Focus on Poverty & Classroom Supplement 38(2), November 2022: Monetary Sanctions and the Criminal Legal System: Punishment and Revenue

Do you use Focus on Poverty in the classroom? Please take a short survey!

Monetary sanctions, also known as legal financial obligations, are state-imposed fines and fees associated with court involvement. These are the financial aspects of the criminal justice system serving variously as punishment for defendants and revenue generation for court jurisdictions. In terms of both frequency and breadth, the rise of court-based fines and fees is largely invisible to most people but has far-reaching—and long-lasting—effects for court-involved individuals and their kin. The authors contributing to this issue of Focus on Poverty draw on a growing body of scholarship to explore and explain some of the many nuances of monetary sanctions and their effects.


Criminal justice as racialized resource extraction, by Joshua Page and Joe Soss

Monetary sanctions and acquaintanceship density in rural court systems, by Gabriela Kirk, Kristina J. Thompson, Beth M. Huebner, Christopher Uggen, and Sarah K. S. Shannon

Long harm of the law: Monetary sanctions and their symbiotic harms, by Daniel J. Boches, Brittany Martin, Andrea Giuffre, Amairini Sanchez, Aubrianne L. Sutherland, and Sarah K. S. Shannon

Court fees criminalize low-income defendants, by Devah Pager, Rebecca Goldstein, Helen Ho, and Bruce Western


Court System, Family & Partnering, Family & Partnering General, Fines & Fees, Inequality & Mobility, Justice System, Place, Place General, Racial/Ethnic Inequality


, , , , , , ,