The Hidden Cost of Fines and Fees
  • Nov 20, 2023 7:00 am
  • 52:50 mins

Fines and fees have become the default way we punish people in America; deterrence is the ultimate goal, but do fines actually deter bad behavior? Often the consequences of fines and fees are not felt equally, because what’s expensive to you might be pocket change to me. Still, the overdue book or speeding ticket costs the same for both of us. In this podcast episode, we interview a library advocate and former library director who successfully eliminated fines at his library. We also share the story of a man who struggled with traffic fines which led to 15 years of license suspensions. A former judge and advocate for reforming fines and fees shares how her organization is aiming to reduce the negative consequences of monetary penalties. And a behavioral economist who conducted one of the most famous experiments on fines discusses the many ways financial penalties can backfire, if we’re not careful. Podcast Guests: Peter Bromberg, associate director for EveryLibrary and former executive director of the Salt Lake City Public Library Fernando Martinez Jr., board member for the Texas Fair Defense Project Lisa Foster, co-executive director for the Fines and Fees Justice Center, former director of the Office for Access to Justice at the U.S. Department of Justice, and former California Supreme Court Judge Uri Gneezy, behavioral economist, professor in the Rady School of Manage at UC San Diego, and author of “Mixed Signals: How Incentives Really Work”