Statutory inequality

The logics of monetary sanctions in state law

Brittany Friedman, Mary E Pattillo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Monetary sanctions mandated in state statutes include fines, fees, restitution, and other legal costs imposed on persons convicted of crimes and other legal violations. Drawing on content analysis of current legislative statutes in Illinois pertaining to monetary sanctions, we ask three questions: What are defendants expected to pay for and why? What accommodations exist for defendants’ poverty? What are the consequences for nonpayment? We find that neoliberal logics of personal responsibility and carceral expansion suffuse these laws, establishing a basis for transferring public costs onto criminal defendants, offering little relief for poverty, and supporting severe additional penalties for unpaid debt. Statutory inequality legally authorizes further impoverishment of the poor, thereby increasing inequality. Major related organizing and advocacy work, however, has created an opening for significant changes toward greater fairness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-196
Number of pages24
JournalRSF
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

state law
sanction
statute
poverty
costs
fee
fairness
accommodation
indebtedness
penalty
content analysis
offense
responsibility
human being
Law

Keywords

  • Criminal statutes
  • Legal financial obligations
  • Monetary sanctions
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Friedman, Brittany ; Pattillo, Mary E. / Statutory inequality : The logics of monetary sanctions in state law. In: RSF. 2019 ; Vol. 5, No. 1. pp. 173-196.
@article{bc9f33916fc245b8a8be2ee8ddcce9ea,
title = "Statutory inequality: The logics of monetary sanctions in state law",
abstract = "Monetary sanctions mandated in state statutes include fines, fees, restitution, and other legal costs imposed on persons convicted of crimes and other legal violations. Drawing on content analysis of current legislative statutes in Illinois pertaining to monetary sanctions, we ask three questions: What are defendants expected to pay for and why? What accommodations exist for defendants’ poverty? What are the consequences for nonpayment? We find that neoliberal logics of personal responsibility and carceral expansion suffuse these laws, establishing a basis for transferring public costs onto criminal defendants, offering little relief for poverty, and supporting severe additional penalties for unpaid debt. Statutory inequality legally authorizes further impoverishment of the poor, thereby increasing inequality. Major related organizing and advocacy work, however, has created an opening for significant changes toward greater fairness.",
keywords = "Criminal statutes, Legal financial obligations, Monetary sanctions, Poverty",
author = "Brittany Friedman and Pattillo, {Mary E}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.7758/RSF.2019.5.1.08",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "5",
pages = "173--196",
journal = "RSF",
issn = "2377-8253",
number = "1",

}

Statutory inequality : The logics of monetary sanctions in state law. / Friedman, Brittany; Pattillo, Mary E.

In: RSF, Vol. 5, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 173-196.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Statutory inequality

T2 - The logics of monetary sanctions in state law

AU - Friedman, Brittany

AU - Pattillo, Mary E

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Monetary sanctions mandated in state statutes include fines, fees, restitution, and other legal costs imposed on persons convicted of crimes and other legal violations. Drawing on content analysis of current legislative statutes in Illinois pertaining to monetary sanctions, we ask three questions: What are defendants expected to pay for and why? What accommodations exist for defendants’ poverty? What are the consequences for nonpayment? We find that neoliberal logics of personal responsibility and carceral expansion suffuse these laws, establishing a basis for transferring public costs onto criminal defendants, offering little relief for poverty, and supporting severe additional penalties for unpaid debt. Statutory inequality legally authorizes further impoverishment of the poor, thereby increasing inequality. Major related organizing and advocacy work, however, has created an opening for significant changes toward greater fairness.

AB - Monetary sanctions mandated in state statutes include fines, fees, restitution, and other legal costs imposed on persons convicted of crimes and other legal violations. Drawing on content analysis of current legislative statutes in Illinois pertaining to monetary sanctions, we ask three questions: What are defendants expected to pay for and why? What accommodations exist for defendants’ poverty? What are the consequences for nonpayment? We find that neoliberal logics of personal responsibility and carceral expansion suffuse these laws, establishing a basis for transferring public costs onto criminal defendants, offering little relief for poverty, and supporting severe additional penalties for unpaid debt. Statutory inequality legally authorizes further impoverishment of the poor, thereby increasing inequality. Major related organizing and advocacy work, however, has created an opening for significant changes toward greater fairness.

KW - Criminal statutes

KW - Legal financial obligations

KW - Monetary sanctions

KW - Poverty

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85069510359&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85069510359&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.7758/RSF.2019.5.1.08

DO - 10.7758/RSF.2019.5.1.08

M3 - Review article

VL - 5

SP - 173

EP - 196

JO - RSF

JF - RSF

SN - 2377-8253

IS - 1

ER -