“On Monday, the Attorney General issued a stern order to state court officials to stop, forthwith, targeting poor and homeless people and throwing them in jail for being too poor to pay fines for the crime of being too poor to have a place to live.
In the strongly worded letter to court chief justices and administrators, the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta and Lisa Foster of the Office for Access to Justice leveled some harsh criticism against state judicial and law enforcement officials for arresting and jailing the poor as a revenue source. The letter said in part,
“In addition to being unlawful, to the extent that these practices are geared not toward addressing public safety, but rather toward raising revenue, they cast doubt on the impartiality of the tribunal and erode trust between local governments and their constituents.”
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