The American Human rights Council (AHRC-USA) welcomes the U.S. Department of Justice guidelines calling on judges of state courts across the nation to change unconstitutional policies that disparately impact the poor, disabled, homeless and transgender populations. The Obama Administration has reiterated its commitment to fairness and justice for all citizens by expressing specific concerns of some state criminal justice systems operating more as for-profit entities rather than independent branches of state and local government. The process of some state and local courts in administering warrants, tickets, bail and other fines and fees unfairly and disproportionately impact poor, disabled, homeless and transgender citizens in our country.
“These policies not only impact many citizens’ constitutional right to access justice, it may also impact their ability to work, care for their families, or continue in school,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director “For instance, if a person has had their driver’s license revoked for failure to pay an exorbitant fine, or must remain in jail because their family cannot afford bail and they are not a flight risk, their ability to care for their family’s needs or work to pay the fines are impossible.” added Mr. Hamad.
AHRC stands in support of the U.S. Justice Department’s call to state judges to operate fair criminal justice systems. AHRC believes that every citizen’s civil rights and human rights must be upheld while seeking access to or within the criminal justice system across the United States. For more information, please visit https://www.justice.gov/