New York — Today, in response to the settlement reached between the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a grantee of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and Benton County, Washington, regarding court-imposed fines and fees, Matt Alsdorf, vice president of criminal justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, said the following:
We are pleased with the settlement between the ACLU and Benton County, Washington. As a result of this settlement, individuals in that community will no longer be jailed simply because they are too poor to pay a fine. This is the second such case where the ACLU has recently reached a settlement, demonstrating momentum toward ending incarceration and other harsh punishments solely on the basis of poverty. Given the disproportionate impact that monetary sanctions can have on poor communities and people of color, it is important for other jurisdictions to review their own practices and adopt similar reforms. We are proud to support the ACLU and others in this work.