Fine Time Massachusetts: Judges, Poor People, and Debtors’ Prison in the 21st Century

Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee

This report looks at the extensive use of fines as part of the justice system in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The report found excessive use of such fines in Massachusetts district courts is “a function of unawareness at the top, unchallenged and sometimes arbitrary power at the bottom, and pressure for revenue throughout.” The report concludes that “The current situation is fundamentally unfair. Justice requires reversing course. Let the process begin now.”

Read Report