Taking apart our state’s unjust system of legal financial obligations (the fees and fines courts assign someone convicted of a crime) is one of CLS’s longstanding top priorities. Every year, we work to chip away at the laws that trap people in unending debt, long after their sentences have been served. It can feel all too slow in the face of such injustice.

So, today we are reflecting on all that has been accomplished to make Washington #1 in the nation on LFO reform, according to the National Center for Access to Justice’s new report. This is the result of CLS along with committed community members, academics, legislators, and organizational partners working for years to stop the unjust practice of funding our court system out of the pockets of our poorest community members.

And we’re not done yet! While we’ve made great strides over the last decade, there is more to do. Look out for this year’s legislative agenda coming soon… including our next step in the fight against LFOs.

Thank you, as always, for fighting alongside us.


Merf Ehman
Executive Director