Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, court fines and fees, and other monetary sanctions overly burdened young people and adults involved in the criminal legal system with debt from pre-trial through post-release and beyond. A few months into the crisis, we are seeing that Black and Brown communities are disproportionately facing economic challenges. This is reflected in national unemployment data, where May 2020 unemployment rates were 24.3% and 25% for Black and Hispanic workers, respectively, compared to 16.1% for White workers. Due to over-policing and over-incarceration, these same communities subjected to a wealth-based criminal legal system are now dually impacted by a pandemic-induced recession.

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