Another issues that the ACLU has taken up and done a fair amount of research on. Courts are in a unique position to collect on bills because they can put a person in jail for non-payment and are no affected by the cost of incarceration.
‘…Aggressive collection of legal financial obligations creates a two-tiered system of justice in which the poorest defendants are punished more harshly than those with means. Although courts attempt to collect legal financial obligations from indigent and affluent defendants alike, those who can afford to pay their legal debts avoid jail, complete their sentences, and move on with their lives. Those unable to pay end up incarcerated or under continued court supervision. Perversely, they also often end up paying much more in fines and fees than defendants who can pay their legal financial obligations. Additionally, the imposition of legal financial obligations disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities, who are disproportionately represented among the prisoner population…’