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The Price of Poverty: How Poverty Impacts Criminal Justice

Picture this: You’re a college student at a local community college working part time as a secretary in your school’s financial aid office. On your way home from class you smoke a cigarette, then toss it out of your car window into the empty left lane. A police officer happens to be rolling up behind you and catches you flicking the cigarette out of the window. The officer then pulls you over and gives you a littering ticket—a charge that could range from $100 to $1,000 in West Virginia

For another person who doesn’t have school costs, living expenses and a low wage, this penalty may be affordable, but for you, coming up with the couple hundred dollars is going to be near impossible. 

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