Joseph Shapiro

Joseph Shapiro appears in the following:

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.


National Data Confirm Cases Of Restraint And Seclusion In Public Schools

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A controversial practice to tie, hold down or seclude agitated students mostly impacts kids with disabilities. Schools say it's for safety, but opponents say it's dangerous and a civil rights issue.


Michigan's High Court Limits The Fees Billed To Defendants

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that local courts cannot charge indiscriminate fees to defendants.


Facing Doubts About Court Fines, Lawmakers Take Questions To Heart

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

U.S. lawmakers are feeling some urgency to solve the same problem: how to stop sending people to jail simply for failing to pay court fines and fees, often because they're too poor to afford them.


Measures Aimed At Keeping People Out Of Jail Punish The Poor

Saturday, May 24, 2014

An exclusive state-by-state survey by NPR found that 49 states now allow or require criminal defendants to pay for their court-ordered electronic monitoring bracelets.


Court Fees Drive Many Poor Defendants Underground

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The use of fines and fees charged to criminal defendants has exploded. People who can't afford those charges can go to jail for not paying. Hundreds of thousands are hiding from police and the courts.


Supreme Court Ruling Not Enough To Prevent Debtors Prisons

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

In 1983, the high court ruled judges can't jail people because they're too poor to pay their fines and fees. But an NPR investigation found judges still use jail time as punishment for nonpayment.


Big Fees For The Big Easy's Poorest Defendants

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In the next installment of an NPR investigation, Joseph Shapiro goes to New Orleans to look at the ways poor people are charged for their public defender in court.


Unpaid Court Fees Land The Poor In 21st Century Debtors' Prisons

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Debtors' prisons were outlawed in the United States back before the Civil War. But an NPR state-by-state survey found that people still get sent to jail for unpaid court fines and fees.

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