Poverty Penalties and Poverty Traps

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State Statute Description/Statute Name Statutory language Type of poverty penalty or poverty trap Level of offense Mandatory
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 5-6-211 Working prisoners; credit for work done
Whenever the defendant is sentenced to imprisonment for the violation of a city ordinance, he may be put to work for the benefit of the city, if it is determined
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that adequate supervision is available, for the term of his imprisonment, and when committed for the nonpayment of a fine, or costs, for the violation of any ordinance, he may also be put to work for the benefit of the city, and shall be credited on such fine and costs, fifteen dollars ($15.00) per day for each day he shall work.
Work program/jail industry program All No
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-16-101 Persons subject to required work
(a) The sentencing court may require the following persons to perform work pursuant to W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104: (i) Persons sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment in the county jail,
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whether or not a fine is imposed as a part of the sentence; (ii) Persons committed to jail pursuant to W.S. 6-10-105 for refusal to pay a fine or costs; and (iii) Persons for whom work is imposed as a condition of probation pursuant to W.S. 7-13-304(b). (b) No person charged with a crime and awaiting the action of the grand jury or awaiting trial shall be required to perform work pursuant to W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104.
Work program/jail industry program All No
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-16-104 Labor by prisoners. County jail. Credits.
7-16-104. Credits. (a) The sentencing court may reduce the term of a sentence, fine, costs or attorney fees of a prisoner sentenced to imprisonment or placed on
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probation, for work performed under W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104. (b) If a reduction is ordered pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the reduction shall be: (i) At the rate of one (1) day for each eight (8) hours of work performed under W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104, provided the reduction in sentence shall not exceed one-half (1/2) of the original sentence; (ii) In an amount equal to the federal minimum hourly wage for each hour of work performed provided that the total amount of reduction in the fine, costs or attorney fees shall not exceed one-half (1/2) of the total amount of the fine, costs and attorney fees.(c) The court shall direct whether the credits under subsection (b) of this section shall apply against the prisoner's term of imprisonment, his fine, court costs, attorney fees or other fees imposed by the court. (d) A person committed to county jail for refusal to pay a fine or costs shall, in addition to the credit allowed by W.S. 6-10-105, be granted a credit against his fine or costs in an amount equal to the federal minimum hourly wage for each hour of work performed.
Work program/jail industry program All Yes
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.94B.040(3)(c) Conversion of fine to community service (for crimes committed before July 1, 2000)
If the court finds that the violation has occurred, it may order the offender to be confined for a period not to exceed sixty days for each violation, and may...(iii)
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convert monetary obligations, except restitution and the crime victim penalty assessment, to community restitution hours at the rate of the state minimum wage as established in RCW 49.46.020 for each hour of community restitution,
Work program/jail industry program All No
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.92.130 City jail prisoners may be compelled to work
When a person has been sentenced by any municipal or district judge in this state to a term of imprisonment in a city jail, whether in default of payment of
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a fine or otherwise, such person may be compelled on each day of such term, except Sundays, to perform eight hours' labor upon the streets, public buildings, and grounds of such city.
Work program/jail industry program All No
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West Virginia W. Va. Code §62-11A-1a. Criminal procedure - Release for work and other purposes - Other sentencing alternatives.
(a) Any person who has been convicted in a circuit court or in a magistrate court under any criminal provision of this code of a misdemeanor or felony, which is
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punishable by imposition of a fine or confinement in a regional jail or a state correctional institution, or both fine and confinement, may, in the discretion of the sentencing judge or magistrate, as an alternative to the sentence imposed by statute for the crime, be sentenced under one of the following programs:(2) The work program under which a sentenced person would be required to spend the first two or more days of his or her sentence in jail and then, in the discretion of the court, would be assigned to a county agency to perform labor within the jail, or in and upon the buildings, grounds, institutions, bridges and roads, including orphaned roads used by the general public and public works within the county. Eight hours of labor are to be credited as one day of the sentence imposed. A person sentenced under this program may be required to provide his or her own transportation to and from the work site, lunch and work clothes; or
Work program/jail industry program All No
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Mississippi Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-20 (1) Fines; payment; indigent defendants; inability to work or unavailability of work
When any court sentences a defendant to pay a fine, the court may order (a) that the fine be paid immediately, or (b) that the fine be paid in installments
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to the clerk of said court or to the judge, if there be no clerk, or (c) that payment of the fine be a condition of probation, or (d) that the defendant be required to work on public property for public benefit under the direction of the sheriff for a specific number of hours, or (e) any combination of the above.
Work program/jail industry program All No
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Mississippi Miss. Code. Ann. § 47-1-3 Working out fine, costs, sentence
It is the imperative duty of the board of supervisors in each county in this state to require each convict sentenced to imprisonment in the county jail and the payment
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of a fine and costs, or to imprisonment and payment of costs, or to payment of fine and costs, to work out the sentence on the county convict farm or on the public roads or other public works of the county, or in a contiguous county, as herein provided. But any convict who is sentenced to the payment of a fine and costs and who pays such fine and costs shall thereby be relieved from working out such fine and costs, but the payment in full of such fine and costs shall not relieve such convict from working out the full time of his imprisonment as adjudged in his sentence.
Work program/jail industry program All Yes
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Louisiana CCRP 903.3 B Substance abuse treatment - inability/failure to pay
B. If the defendant does not have the financial resources to pay all the related costs of the probation program, the court may do either of the following: (1)
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To the extent practicable, arrange for the defendant to be assigned to a treatment program funded by the state or federal government. (2) With the recommendation of the treatment program, order the defendant to perform supervised work for the benefit of the community in lieu of paying all or a part of the costs related to his treatment and supervision. The work shall be performed for and under the supervising authority of a parish, municipality, or other political subdivision or agency of the state or a charitable organization that renders service to the community or its residents.
Work program/jail industry program All No
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Louisiana CCRP 895.1.D Work program for failure to pay probation fee
The court may, in lieu of the monthly supervision fee provided for in Paragraph C, require the defendant to perform a specified amount of community service work each month if
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the court finds the defendant is unable to pay the minimum supervision fee provided for in Paragraph C
Work program/jail industry program All No
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Vermont Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13 § 7180(4)(b)(v) Remedies for failure to pay - work program
Sentence the defendant to serve a term of imprisonment on furlough to participate in a program supervised by the Department of Corrections pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(7) that provides
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reparation to the community in the form of supervised work activities. For each day the defendant participates in supervised work activities, the defendant shall be given credit against the amount owed at the hourly rate for minimum wage. A defendant who is determined by the Department of Corrections to be ineligible for the preapproved furlough supervised work program may be ordered by the Court to serve a sentence in a correctional facility, in which event the defendant shall be given credit against the amount owed for every day served at a rate determined by the Court.
Work program/jail industry program All No
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Oklahoma 11 Okl.St.Ann. § 14-111 Enforcement and penalties for violation of municipal ordinances
The governing body may provide that any person fined for violation of a municipal ordinance who is financially able but refuses or neglects to pay the fine or costs may
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be compelled to satisfy the amount owed by working on the streets, alleys, avenues, areas, and public grounds of the municipality, subject to the direction of the street commissioner or other proper officer, at a rate per day as the governing body may prescribe by ordinance, but not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per day for useful labor, until the fine or costs are satisfied.
Work program/jail industry program Misdemeanor No
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Oklahoma 11 Okl.St.Ann. § 28-124 Imprisonment for nonpayment of fine and costs--Persons unable to pay
Any person who shall be convicted in the municipal criminal court of record of a violation of any ordinance of the city and sentenced to pay a fine and costs,
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who is financially able but refuses or neglects to pay such fine and costs, shall be imprisoned in the jail, farm or workhouse of the city, in the discretion of the court, for one (1) day for each Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) of the fine and cost assessed or one (1) day for each Fifty Dollars ($50.00) of the fine and cost assessed if the person performs useful labor. If the defendant is without means to pay the fine or costs, the municipal judge may direct the total amount due to be entered upon the court minutes and to be certified to the district court in the county where the situs of the municipal government is located where it shall be entered upon the district court judgment docket and shall have the full force and effect of a district court judgment. Thereupon, the same remedies shall be available for the enforcement of the judgment as are available to any other judgment creditor.
Work program/jail industry program Misdemeanor No
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Oklahoma Okla. Stat. tit. 57, § 20 Credit on fine and costs--Credit for efficient work and good behavior
Every county, city or town convict in this state, whether required to work upon the public highways of the county, city or town, in accordance with the laws of this
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state, or merely confined in the county, city or town prison, shall receive credit upon his or her fine and costs of One Dollar ($1.00) for each day confined in prison, or worked upon the public highways, rock pile, or rock crusher, or public work; provided that those prisoners or convicts doing and performing the most efficient work and making the best prisoners, shall be entitled to an additional credit of one (1) day for every five (5) days of work, the custodian of the prison to determine at the end of each five (5) days of imprisonment whether or not the prisoner is entitled to such credit, and to make a record of the decision and notify the prisoner of the same.
Work program/jail industry program Misdemeanor Yes
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Oklahoma Okla. Stat. tit. 57, § 58.3 Sentence and fine or cost credits for prisoner labor
Prisoners employed as provided herein shall be given a credit of two (2) days on a jail sentence for each day worked, and a credit of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per
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day upon the payment of a fine or court cost, if sentenced for nonpayment of a fine or court cost. The sheriff shall be authorized to order the credit be given to the prisoner on the records of the court where the conviction of the prisoner is filed.
Work program/jail industry program All Yes
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 41-2-111 Hard labor; good time credit; disciplinary review boards
(a) In all cases where a person is by law liable to be imprisoned in the county jail for punishment or for failure to pay a fine, that person shall
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be sentenced to be confined, and shall be confined, at hard labor in the county workhouse until the expiration of the sentence of imprisonment or, subject to the limitations imposed by § 40-24-104, until the fine has been worked out, paid or secured to be paid.
Work program/jail industry program All Yes
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 41-3-104 Fines and costs; payment
If a prisoner is confined for failure to pay a fine and costs, the prisoner shall be detained until the fine and costs, except litigation tax, have been paid by
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the proceeds of the prisoner's labor.
Work program/jail industry program All Yes
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 10.82.040 Commitment for failure to pay fine and costs--Reduction of amount by performance of labor
When a defendant is committed to jail, on failure to pay any fines and costs, he or she shall, under the supervision of the county sheriff and subject to the
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terms of any ordinances adopted by the county commissioners, be permitted to perform labor to reduce the amount owing of the fine and costs.
Work program/jail industry program All No
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Arizona Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-821(B) Fines for drug offenses

The court may suspend the imposition of a fine pursuant to this section if the person agrees to enter a residential drug rehabilitation program approved by the court and to

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pay for all or a part of the costs associated with the rehabilitation program. On successfully completing the program, the person may apply to the court for a reduction in the amount of the fine imposed pursuant to this section. If the person establishes to the satisfaction of the court that the person successfully completed the program, the court may reduce the fine by the amount the person paid to participate in the rehabilitation program. If the person fails to complete the program, the court shall enforce the collection of the entire fine that was imposed pursuant to subsection A.

Work program/jail industry program All No
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Arkansas Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-303(f)(1)(C) Conditions of Suspension or Probation

(f)(1) If the court suspends imposition of sentence on a defendant or places him or her on probation conditioned upon his or her making restitution under subdivision (c)(6) of this

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section, the court, by concurrence of the victim, defendant, and the prosecuting authority, shall determine the amount to be paid as restitution . . . and (C) If a personal service is contemplated, the reasonable value and rate of compensation for the personal service rendered to the victim.

Work program/jail industry program All No