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Tackling Criminal Justice Debt

with Nick Allen, Alex Kornya, & Rhona Taylor

How can an arrest or conviction lead to problems with debt? When a person interacts with the criminal justice system—even a person who is never convicted of a crime—that person often accumulates a significant sum of fees or fines. When that person has little or no ability to pay up, the debt begins to snowball and becomes a legal problem in its own right. Given the racialized nature of the American criminal justice system, the problems of criminal justice debt weigh particularly heavy on communities of color.

In this episode of the Advocacy Exchange, our monthly conversation with advocates advancing change, we talked with Nick Allen and Rhona Taylor of Columbia Legal Services and Alex Kornya of Iowa Legal Aid. We discussed how advocates at both LSC-funded and unrestricted programs can tackle the problems of criminal justice debt. 

Be sure to read Allen, Kornya, and Taylor’s Clearinghouse article, Tackling Criminal Justice Debt


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