v3rgEz writes: Federal civil rights officials at the Department of Justice are launching an effort to combat widespread constitutional abuses in U.S. courts in the hope of ending budget-driven policies that cripple those unable to afford fines and fees for minor offenses, the Huffington Post reports. The DOJ's focus on court fees and bail practices follows the Ferguson report which found officials had colluded to raise revenue when they hit residents with exorbitantly high fines and fees, regardless of their ability to pay, and jailed people to extract the money. The Sunlight Foundation and MuckRock recently launched an audit to see how widely the practice has spread.
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