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“Right Sizing” Penalties through Technology

Poverty is not a crime, yet those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder often find themselves incarcerated for no reason other than their inability to pay court fines and fees. Two projects aim to avert this escalation and develop alternatives to incarceration, by including the assessment of ability-to-pay in the sentencing and penalties phase of a court case. The Michigan 31st District Court uses an online ability to pay assessment developed at the University of Michigan. The AOC of Kentucky added payment plans and assessments to its online ticket resolution early in 2018. Learn from the experiences of these courts on how you might apply this approach to your community.

JJ Prescott
Professor of Law
University of Michigan

Alexis Grace Krot
Judge
31st District Court, Michigan

Elizabeth “Beth” Lucas
Implementation & Court Services Director
Administrative Office of the Courts (Kentucky)


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