Equal Justice Under Law offers pro bono assistance to those most in need, raising the voices of the silenced and disenfranchised. Our work focuses on a range of criminal system and social justice issues.
The Justice Report
Good hard working people are being forced into a modern-day debtors’ prison through the suspension of their driver’s license and the vicious cycle that revolves between ever-increasing fines and the inability to get to work to pay them off.
Injustice becomes the norm, people turn into numbers, and lives morph into statistics as the Prison Industrial Complex morphs into the Private Prison Industrial Complex.
“We are not makers of history; we are made by history." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Since 2015, the most vulnerable residents of Newark, Arkansas have fallen prey to a ruthless scheme that is evicting them from their homes. During a time where these families deserve a warm sanctuary in which to gather, many are facing eviction and mounting debt.
As of January 2018, over 1.4 million Texans had suspended licenses for failure to pay additional surcharges on a ticket for a driving infraction. Equal Justice Under Law has filed a lawsuit against Governor Greg Abbot and Texas’ Department of Public Safety to end this program once and for all and help affected Texans escape a cycle of poverty.
Between 2011 and 2016, Pennsylvania suspended the licenses of over 149,000 individuals as an additional punishment for non-driving-related drug convictions. Now, nine months after EJUL filed a class action lawsuit against the counterproductive practice, Pennsylvania has abolished it.
Private companies charge incarcerated individuals and their families up to $14 for a single minute on the phone — a devastating assault on the dignity and family ties of prisoners.
Criminal hearings are supposed to be free and public, but in Dallas, Texas — where thousands of individuals remain locked up because they cannot afford bail — bail hearings are held in secrecy behind closed doors.
On October 3, 2018, Executive Director Phil Telfeyan appeared before a panel of judges from the Sixth Circuit United States Court of Appeals to argue that the district court properly enjoined Michigan’s Secretary of State from automatically suspending the licenses of Michigan residents who cannot afford to pay their court fines and fees.