Joseph Shapiro en Facing Doubts About Court Fines, Lawmakers Take Questions To Heart U.S. lawmakers and judges are feeling some urgency to solve the same problem: how to stop sending people to jail simply for failing to pay court fines and fees, often because they're too poor to afford them. Policymakers react to a recent <a href="">NPR investigation</a> into the issue. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:51:19 +0000 Joseph Shapiro 63685 at National Data Confirm Cases Of Restraint And Seclusion In Public Schools The practice of secluding or restraining children when they get agitated has long been a controversial practice in public schools. Now, new data show that it's more common than previously understood, happening at least 267,000 times in a recent school year.<p>NPR worked with reporters from the investigative journalism group ProPublica, who compiled data from the U.S. Wed, 18 Jun 2014 21:59:00 +0000 Joseph Shapiro 62862 at Michigan's High Court Limits The Fees Billed To Defendants Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. Michigan's top court, today, moved to put limits on what local governments can charge defendants who go through the court system. The court ruled in a case we told you about last month of a man who got billed more than a thousand dollars for his court costs. Wed, 18 Jun 2014 21:32:00 +0000 Joseph Shapiro 62863 at Court Fees Drive Many Poor Defendants Underground The use of fines and fees charged to criminal defendants has exploded. <a href="">An NPR investigation</a> has found people who can't afford those charges can go to jail for not paying. Hundreds of thousands are hiding from police and the courts. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 21:54:38 +0000 Joseph Shapiro 62684 at As Court Fees Rise, The Poor Are Paying The Price In Augusta, Ga., a judge sentenced Tom Barrett to 12 months after he stole a can of beer worth less than $2.<p>In Ionia, Mich., 19-year-old Kyle Dewitt caught a fish out of season; then a judge sentenced him to three days in jail.<p>In Grand Rapids, Mich., Stephen Papa, a homeless Iraq War veteran, spent 22 days in jail, not for what he calls his "embarrassing behavior" after he got drunk with friends and climbed into an abandoned building, but because he had only $25 the day he went to court.<p>The common thread in these cases, and scores more like them, is the jail time wasn't punishment for Sun, 15 Jun 2014 21:11:56 +0000 Joseph Shapiro 62591 at Supreme Court Ruling Not Enough To Prevent Debtors Prisons Debtors prisons were outlawed in the United States nearly 200 years ago. And more than 30 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear: Judges cannot send people to jail just because they are too poor to pay their court fines.<p>That decision came in a 1983 case called <em>Bearden v. Georgia</em>, which held that a judge must first consider whether the defendant has the ability to pay but "willfully" refuses.<p>However, the Supreme Court didn't tell courts how to determine what it means to "willfully" not pay. Wed, 21 May 2014 09:22:00 +0000 Joseph Shapiro 61091 at Big Fees For The Big Easy's Poorest Defendants In the next installment of an <a href="">NPR investigation</a>, Joseph Shapiro goes to New Orleans to look at the ways poor people are charged for their public defender in court. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit<img src=""/></div><p>Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Tue, 20 May 2014 20:27:00 +0000 Joseph Shapiro 61061 at Unpaid Court Fees Land The Poor In 21st Century Debtors' Prisons Debtors' prisons were outlawed in the United States back before the Civil War. But an NPR <a href="">state-by-state survey</a> found that people still get sent to jail for unpaid court fines and fees. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Tue, 20 May 2014 10:17:00 +0000 Joseph Shapiro 61019 at Campus Rape Reports Are Up, And Assaults Aren't The Only Reason The number of "forcible rapes" that get reported at four-year colleges increased 49 percent between 2008 and 2012. That's the finding of an analysis by NPR's Investigative Unit of data from the Department of Education.<p>That increase shows that sexual assault is a persistent and ugly problem on college campuses. Wed, 30 Apr 2014 21:25:00 +0000 Joseph Shapiro 59782 at Shooting Unfairly Links Violence With Mental Illness — Again With the Army's disclosure that Army Spc. Ivan Lopez was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder before he went on a shooting rampage Wednesday, there were once again questions about whether the Army could have prevented the violence at Fort Hood.<p>Experts in mental health say (even as <a href="">more facts</a> about Lopez emerge) that it's highly unlikely the violence could have been predicted. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 23:14:00 +0000 Joseph Shapiro 57731 at