Justice System Fines & Fees Perpetuate Poverty

Forcing defendants to pay excessively for their case and punishment disempowers them from taking charge of their own lives and increases the likelihood they’ll reoffend.

Judge Shanta Owens
Birmingham, AL

When I decided to run for judge, I was a true newcomer to politics. As a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office in Birmingham, I was very familiar with how the courts work, but I had no political experience. Judges deal with lives and liberty, so I wanted to make sure there was a competent judge in the position. I’ve always been passionate about the criminal justice system. I wanted to make sure victims had their day in court and that the rights of the criminally accused were protected. I’ve always had an issue with [people] viewing defendants as sub-human, as beneath the rest of us.

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