In the News

Trump administration exploring police crackdown on homeless people

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 |

“This approach contributes to the problem rather than solving it,” said Osha Neumann, a civil rights lawyer who has long advocated for the homeless in northern California. “The idea that we can criminalize our way out of a crisis that is the result of the failure of the system to provide basic human needs for a large percent of our population is ridiculous.”

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California Is Considering Ending Criminal Court Fees and Wiping Out Billions in Debt

Monday, June 17, 2019 | ,

Three years ago, during Brandon Greene’s first week working as a lawyer in a new clinic affiliated with the East Bay Community Law Center, he was handed a stack of cases to review. Each involved a client who was struggling to pay down the fines and fees that easily accumulate in California’s criminal justice system. It was his job to help. A handful of the cases were so old that he couldn’t find current contact information for the clients. He quickly realized that “some of those folks,” even if he did reach them, “could not get back on their feet at all”  because of their debt. “The folks who were being affected were mostly indigent,” he said. “Everything costs money. Every program costs money. And a lot of folks can’t afford to pay these things.”

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