Local governments collected $9 billion in fines and fees in 2020

In Politics by Michael Rae

Across the county, local governments are generating substantial revenues through law enforcement. While there are many legitimate uses of monetary penalties in the criminal justice system, their use can become exploitative when governments rely on law enforcement as an essential source of revenue. 

The primary responsibilities of the legal system are to promote public safety and to provide for justice. Pressure to raise revenue, at best, undermines and, at worst, directly conflicts with those responsibilities. When incentives are misaligned, police departments and court systems become more concerned with taxation by citation than carrying out their core functions. Such conflicts of interest

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