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Homeless Population in New Orleans Doubles Following Katrina

Source: Mario Tama / Getty

Some of New Orleans’ poorest residents are now working with lawyers in a class-action lawsuit against the local criminal district court. They are accusing judges and court officials of ripping them out of their money and unlawfully keeping them in jail for falling behind on exorbitant court fines.

The plaintiffs in the case are highlighting the courts’ failure to assess people’s ability to pay in assigned court fees. They are also pointing out that officials such as judges, prosecutors and public defenders unfairly benefit from the costs that are placed upon the city’s residents.

Experts explain that the exorbitant costs that New Orleanians are burdened with are used to fund the local criminal justice system, making up costs that aren’t covered in taxes. They go on to explain that such large charges towards New Orleanians brought to court for petty crimes like traffic violations and theft is unconstitutional, as these fees are often bigger than the actual criminal fine. Read more at the New York Times

RELATED LINKS:

New Orleans 10 Years Later: An Infographic Of Hurricane Katrina By The Numbers

President Obama To Speak On New Orleans’ Progress After Hurricane Katrina

New Orleans Cops Under Investigation For Ignoring Sex Crime & Child Abuse Cases

Lawsuit Charges Local New Orleans Government With Extorting City’s Poor was originally published on hellobeautiful.com

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