ETI Publications

Document Type

Technical Paper

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

The Employment and Training Institute collaborated on a project with the Justice Initiatives Institute examining Branch A Milwaukee Municipal Court cases from 2008 to 2013 using records obtained from the Milwaukee Municipal Court and the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office and focusing on the population incarcerated for municipal ordinance violations. A majority of those jailed for failure to pay municipal judgments were not employed at the time of booking. Municipal courts often denied Wisconsin residents unable to pay or delinquent in paying court judgments for municipal citations their right to drive for two years -- jeopardizing workers’ employment options and placing them at risk in the criminal justice system if found “driving while suspended." Thousands of low-income Milwaukee teens of color failing to pay fines on municipal violations (even if unrelated to driving) are barred from getting their driver’s license for two years.