Second Year Research Report

Our monetary sanctions research team has completed year 2 of our five year project.  We have conducted over 380 interviews across eight states with people who have been sentenced to legal debt as a result of municipal and felony convictions.  In this report we outline our preliminary findings from these interviews.  We found that many people have difficulty navigating the legal process, they have varying legal and economic experiences across the jurisdictions studied and have a range of abilities to pay off their legal debt.  All of which leads to difficult social, legal, health and financial consequences.  This coming year we will be conducting further systematic analyses of our transcripts. We are also continuing our data collection in the eight states, including observations of court hearings and interviews with judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, clerks and probation officers.