Alexes Harris's A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the PDF

By Alexes Harris

Over seven million american citizens are both incarcerated, on probation, or on parole, with their legal files usually following them for all times and affecting entry to better schooling, jobs, and housing. Court-ordered financial sanctions that compel legal defendants to pay fines, charges, surcharges, and restitution additional inhibit their skill to reenter society. In A Pound of Flesh, sociologist Alexes Harris analyzes the increase of economic sanctions within the felony justice procedure and indicates how they completely penalize and marginalize the negative. She exposes the harmful results of a little-understood element of felony sentencing and exhibits the way it additional perpetuates racial and monetary inequality.

Harris attracts from wide sentencing information, felony files, observations of courtroom hearings, and interviews with defendants, judges, prosecutors, and different courtroom officers. She files how low-income defendants are plagued by financial sanctions, which come with charges for public defenders and numerous processing fees. till those accounts are paid in complete, participants stay below judicial supervision, topic to courtroom summons, warrants, and penitentiary remains. due to curiosity and surcharges that acquire on unpaid monetary consequences, those financial sanctions usually turn into insurmountable felony accounts which many offenders hold for the rest of their lives. Harris reveals that such financial sentences, that are imposed disproportionately on low-income minorities, aid create an everlasting fiscal underclass and deepen social stratification.

A Pound of Flesh delves into the court docket practices of 5 counties in Washington nation to demonstrate the ways that subjective sentencing shapes the perform of economic sanctions. Judges and court docket clerks carry a substantial measure of discretion within the sentencing and tracking of economic sanctions and depend upon person values—such as own accountability, meritocracy, and paternalism—to confirm how a lot and whilst offenders should still pay. Harris exhibits that financial sanctions are imposed at various charges throughout jurisdictions, with very little kingdom govt oversight. neighborhood officers’ reliance on their lonesome values and ideology may also push offenders extra into debt—for instance, while judges cost defendants who lack the capacity to pay their fines with contempt of court docket and penalize them with extra fines or penitentiary time.

A Pound of Flesh presents a well timed exam of the way financial sanctions completely bind negative offenders to the judicial procedure. Harris concludes that during letting financial sanctions cross unchecked, we have now created a two-tiered felony approach that imposes extra burdens on already-marginalized groups.

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A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the Poor (Amer Sociological Association's Rose Ser) by Alexes Harris


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