Criminal justice and economic justice meet at an intersection. In North Carolina, the costs and penalties imposed by the criminal justice system can be a heavy burden for the poor, while giving the wealthy a slap on the wrist. Poorer individuals who cannot afford to pay may be left with outstanding criminal justice debt. Such debt can hang like a cloud over one’s head, impacting households and communities, and potentially spiral out of control.
In June 2018, Reinvestment Partners released a report on criminal justice debt in North Carolina. This report examines the debt spiral for individuals indebted to the criminal justice system in North Carolina - particularly those with traffic infractions - and argues for targeted reforms at state and local levels.
The report was part of a multi-state collaborative addressing enforcement of civic debt in California, Illinois, Maryland and North Carolina.
Read the reports below:
by Quisha Mallette
A Ford Collaborative Effort
A guide on how to educate yourself, talk to local officials, and invest in your local community