Resource Guide: Reforming the Assessment and Enforcement of Fines and Fees

Fines and Fees Resource GuideThis guide by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center is designed to be a resource for executive-level decision makers to evaluate their jurisdictions’ fines and fees and to implement data-driven reforms. Fines and fees are primarily imposed for minor matters—such as traffic infractions or municipal code violations—and disproportionately impact low-income people. Fines and fees include costs associated with pretrial detention, the assignment of a public defender, general court administration, and electronic monitoring. For those convicted of a crime, the debt accrued by these fines and fees can be a substantial barrier to successful reentry back into their communities following the completion of their sentence.