SUPCO Reminds Judges About Jailing Poor People Who Fail To Pay Fines

Feb 6, 2014

The Ohio Supreme Court is reminding judges conditions are limited under which they may jail an offender for failure to pay fines.

A brochure being distributed to all state judges follows a report last year that found several Ohio courts are illegally jailing people because they are too poor to pay their debts. The report by the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union also found judges often deny defendants a hearing to determine if they're financially capable of paying what they owe. Ohio law permits judges to jail people for refusing to pay fines only if they are financially able to pay and only after a hearing.