Fair Treatment of Indigent Defendants

How Do We Treat Low-Income Defendants Fairly?

The City of Austin is hosting a community meeting to discuss fair treatment of those defendants who are unable to pay fines assessed to them in Municipal or Downtown Austin Community Court. We want your feedback as we shape new policy

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  • Which City of Austin court was your most recent involvement with?

    At either court, do you feel you were treated respectfully?

    Since 2016, were you or a family member committed to jail for not paying a court ordered fine?

    Since 2016, if you or a family member were committed to jail for not paying a court-ordered fine, were you asked about your ability to pay?

    Since 2016, if you or a family member were committed to jail for not paying a court-ordered fine, were you offered an alternative payment or sentencing option like community service or case management?

    Should the court waive all fees/fines if someone is assigned community service and provides proof of a medical or other type of hardship?

    Should there be consequences if someone is assigned community service, fails to complete it, and does not have a hardship?