Joseph Shapiro

Joseph Shapiro appears in the following:

Lawsuits Target 'Debtors' Prisons' Across the Country

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Civil rights lawyers are challenging the use of court fines and fees against people who can't afford to pay. This week's ACLU suit against Biloxi, Miss., is the sixth such case since September.


ACLU Sues Benton County, Wash., For Operating 'Modern-Day Debtors Prison'

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The lawsuit would protect people like Jayne Fuentes โ€” who can't afford to pay mounting court fines and fees โ€” from being sent back to jail if they are homeless, unemployed or just out of prison.


Ferguson, Mo., Judge Withdraws Thousands Of Arrest Warrants

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A judge in Ferguson, Mo., has announced he will withdraw thousands of arrest warrants for unpaid traffic violations and other minor offenses. But it may be just a start on reform in St. Louis County and around the country.


She Owes Her Activism To A Brave Mom, The ADA And Chocolate Cake

Friday, July 31, 2015

Born deaf and blind to a refugee mother, Haben Girma has had opportunities in the U.S. she'd never have had in Eritrea. But it was an urge for dessert that led her to advocate for the disabled.


How A Law To Protect Disabled Americans Became Imitated Around The World

Friday, July 24, 2015

In Africa, in Asia, in Latin America, people with disabilities want to know: How can we learn from the Americans with Disabilities Act so we can get on the bus, get married, build a life.


In Helping Those With Disabilities, ADA Improves Access For All

Friday, July 24, 2015

Take a tour through New York and you'll see how the 25-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act is benefiting everyone.


Coming Home Straight From Solitary Damages Inmates And Their Families

Friday, June 12, 2015

Says one public defender: "The frightening thing about solitary is that when it erodes your ability to interact with other human beings, in turn that trauma is inflicted on your family members."


From Solitary To The Streets: Released Inmates Get Little Help

Thursday, June 11, 2015

An investigation by NPR and The Marshall Project found that many states don't keep track of how many inmates are released directly from solitary confinement without any transition or supervision.


Money Drove Criminal Justice System In Ferguson, DOJ Report Says

Thursday, March 05, 2015

The Justice Department says police and courts in Ferguson, Mo., violated black residents' civil rights because officials saw them as a source of revenue. They were given excessive fines and fees.


Jail Time For Unpaid Court Fines And Fees Can Create Cycle Of Poverty

Monday, February 09, 2015

Lawsuits filed in Ferguson and Jennings, Mo., seek justice for impoverished people who are jailed, sometimes for weeks, for not being able to pay what they owe the cities.


Civil Rights Attorneys Sue Ferguson Over 'Debtors Prisons'

Sunday, February 08, 2015

NPR got an advanced look at a civil rights lawsuit being filed that claims Ferguson, Mo., residents who can't afford to pay their court fines are illegally held in jail.


Study Finds Court Fees Also Punish The Families Of Those Who Owe

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Center for Community Alternatives says that formerly incarcerated men and women rely heavily upon family, almost always receiving cash from them.


Massachusetts Will Limit Practice Of Restraint And Seclusion In Schools

Friday, January 09, 2015

Massachusetts is one of a growing number of states that are putting new restrictions on the practice of restraining and secluding public school students.


How Driver's License Suspensions Unfairly Target The Poor

Monday, January 05, 2015

Losing your driver's license is a serious penalty, but often it's for nothing to do with unsafe driving. Without one, many who can't afford to pay the fines have a hard time finding or keeping a job.

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Can't Pay Your Fines? Your License Could Be Taken

Monday, December 29, 2014

Drive drunk or recklessly and the state can suspend your driver's license. But a number of officials worry that many suspensions are for lesser offenses, including unpaid tickets or even truancy.


Alabama Settlement Could Be Model For Handling Poor Defendants In Ferguson, Mo.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The city of Montgomery, Ala., was sued by a group of people who said they were jailed when they couldn't pay court fines and fees. Now the city has agreed to take steps to help those too poor to pay.


Campus Sexual Assault Law Now Includes Language On Same-Sex Violence

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Campus SaVE Act clarifies the rights of victims of same-sex sexual attacks to go to local police, get referrals for health care and be guaranteed a fair hearing process.


In Ferguson, Mo., Before Michael Brown There Was Henry Davis

Friday, September 12, 2014

In 2009, Henry Davis was charged with destruction of property after he scuffled with police officers and his blood dirtied their uniforms.


Ferguson's Plan To Cut Back On Court Fees Could Inspire Change

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The council in the Missouri town met Tuesday for the first time since the shooting of Michael Brown. A plan introduced would address one source of tension: heavy collection of court fines and fees.


In Ferguson, Court Fines And Fees Fuel Anger

Monday, August 25, 2014

The protests in Ferguson are a response to the shooting death of Michael Brown, but the heavy use of court fines and fees helps explain why there's so much anger directed at local police.