Martin, K., Shannon, S., Sykes, B., Edwards, F.R., & Harris, A. (2018). Monetary sanctions in criminal justice. Annual Review of Criminology, 1, 471-495.
This review assesses the current state of knowledge about monetary sanctions, e.g., fines, fees, surcharges, restitution, and any other financial liability related to contact with systems of justice, which are used more widely than prison, jail, probation, or parole in the United States. The review describes the most important consequences of the punishment of monetary sanctions in the United States, which include a significant capacity for exacerbating economic inequality by race, prolonged contact and involvement with the criminal justice system, driver’s license suspension, voting restrictions, damaged credit, and incarceration. Given the lack of consistent laws and policies that govern monetary sanctions, jurisdictions vary greatly in their imposition, enforcement, and collection practices of fines, fees, court costs, and restitution. A review of federally collected data on monetary sanctions reveals that a lack of consistent and exhaustive measures of monetary sanctions presents a unique problem for tracking both the prevalence and amount of legal financial obligations (LFOs) over time. We conclude with promising directions for future research and policy on monetary sanctions.