community court debt fund
Inspired by community court debt funds around the country and the FANG Collective’s local bail fund, the Behind the Walls Committee organizes a community fund to support Rhode Islanders in paying off criminal court fines, fees, restitution, home confinement and probation fees.
Many Rhode Islanders finish prison sentences and come out only to face enormous debts assigned by the courts. Formerly incarcerated people must already navigate countless discriminatory barriers to finding job training, stable employment, housing, and healthcare. Court debt is yet another barrier to successful reentry. In fact, in Rhode Island, it can become grounds for reincarceration. If someone fails to make a payment, a warrant can be issued for their arrest, or the missed payment can be grounds for violation.
A committee of formerly incarcerated Behind the Walls members and DARE staff will determine the distribution of incoming funds, and all information about incoming and outgoing funds will be shared monthly on this page. Until enough funds become available, preference will be given to community members who are involved in our work.