Fact: Kalief Browder spent more than 1000 days in jail on Rikers Island without a trial. He was first jailed when he was 16 years old.
Fact: In 2011, 74% of felony cases in the Bronx were older than six months.
Fact: At the beginning of 2013, there were 952 felony cases in the Bronx that were more than two years old.
Fact: In 2011, 165 felony cases in the Bronx went to trial. In 3,991, the defendant pleaded guilty.
Fact: in 2013, 27% of adolescent inmates on Rikers Island are in solitary confinement.
Source: Before The Law, The New Yorker
Fact: Alabama’s prisons have grown 840% since 1977. The state population has grown 23%.
Fact: In 1995, Alabama briefly re-introduced the chain gang for the first time in America in 30 years, before dropping the practice amid criticism and court challenges.
Fact: In 2002, the U.S. Justice Department ordered Alabama to stop chaining inmates to hitching posts, a widespread practice.
Fact: Alabama spends 1 of every 4 dollars in the state’s General Fund on prisons.
Source: Alabama’s Prison Problems, Al.com
Fact: The above title was an actual court case last year.
Fact: There have been almost 62,000 cash seizures without search warrants or indictments since 2001, totaling $2.5 billion in revenues for federal, state, and local authorities.
Fact: In many cases, the owner is not even charged with a crime.
Fact: Half of all seizures were below $8,800.
Fact: Almost 300 departments and an additional 210 task forces have seized 20% or more of their annual budgets since 2008.
Source: Stop and Seize, the Washington Post
Fact: In some states, defendants are charged hundreds or thousands of dollars for their own arrest warrants, court-ordered drug and alcohol rehabilitation services, to have DNA samples collected, and even for jury trials.
Fact: In Michigan, an impoverished man was charged $1000 in court costs related to forging a prescription to pay for the following:
- his court-appointed attorney
- salaries of court employees
- heat in the court building
- operating telephones and copy machines
- underwriting the cost of the court employees’ fitness gym
Fact: In some cases, a defendant can do community service in lieu of fines. However, there is often a per day fee for this.
Fact: A 2004 Department of Justice survey estimates that over 65% of prisoners leave jail financially indebted to the state. A more recent estimate places the figure at 80 to 85%.
Source: Guilty As Charged, NPR
Fact: Many services that were once free, including constitutionally protected ones, are increasingly subject to fee schedules. Failure to pay can result in imprisonment.
Fact: In at least 43 states and the District of Columbia, defendants can be billed for their public defender’s services.
Fact: In at least 41 states, inmates can be charged for room and board during jail and prison stays.
Fact: In at least 44 states, offenders can be billed for their own probation and supervision.
Fact: In all states except Hawaii and the District of Columbia, there is a fee for electronic monitoring devices that defendants and offenders are ordered to wear.
Source: Guilty As Charged, NPR