Article Title

Impact of Criminal Justice Debt on Indigent Defendants

Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy


This Note explores the constitutional and policy concerns surrounding criminal justice debt and the ability of indigent defendants to reintegrate into society. After examining the history of legal financial obligations (“LFOs”) in the United States, and the current state of LFOs in Tennessee, the Note focuses on three reforms: reinstating driver’s licenses for those who have had their licenses revoked for failure to pay court fees, creating a more transparent accounting process of such debt, and dedicating more resources to public defender’s offices and others who aid ex-offenders.