Joseph Shapiro Joseph Shapiro is a NPR News Investigations correspondent.
Joseph Shapiro - Square
Stories By

Joseph Shapiro

Sharnalle Mitchell (center) in Montgomery in May, after winning an injunction to stop the city from collecting court fines. With her (from left): attorney Alec Karakatsanis, fellow plaintiffs Lorenzo Brown and Tito Williams and attorney Matt Swerdlin. Courtesy of Alec Karakatsanis hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Alec Karakatsanis

John Kelly speaks during a campus rally about sexual violence at Tufts University on May 1. Courtesy of Leah Mushkin-Pierret hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Leah Mushkin-Pierret

Campus Sexual Assault Law Now Includes Language On Same-Sex Violence

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/352757107/353048475" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Police officers equipped in riot gear line up during a protest of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown outside Ferguson Police Department Headquarters on Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

In Ferguson, Mo., Before Michael Brown There Was Henry Davis

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/348010247/348010248" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A line of people wait to speak during a meeting of the Ferguson City Council on Tuesday. The meeting was the first for the council since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a city police officer. Jeff Roberson/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Jeff Roberson/AP

Ferguson's Plan To Cut Back On Court Fees Could Inspire Change

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/347305791/347305792" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

People line up to take part in an amnesty program to clear up outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants in August 2013, in Ferguson, Mo. For those living on the economic margins, the consequences of even a minor criminal violation can lead to a spiral of debt, unpaid obligations, unemployment and even arrest. Jeff Roberson/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Jeff Roberson/AP

In Ferguson, Court Fines And Fees Fuel Anger

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/343143937/343203899" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Carson Luke, 13, was injured when he was restrained at a school in Virginia when he was 10 years old. Sarah Tilotta/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Sarah Tilotta/NPR

National Data Confirm Cases Of Restraint And Seclusion In Public Schools

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/322915388/323511724" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Facing Doubts About Court Fines, Lawmakers Take Questions To Heart

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/318888275/318888276" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Tom Barrett returned to the convenience store where he stole a can of beer. He spent time in jail, not for the crime, but because he couldn't afford the fines and fees that went along with wearing an electronic monitoring device. Joseph Shapiro/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Joseph Shapiro/NPR

Measures Aimed At Keeping People Out Of Jail Punish The Poor

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/314866421/315621364" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Court Fees Drive Many Poor Defendants Underground

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/314607003/314607004" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Kyle Dewitt was sentenced to three days in jail after he was unable to pay fees associated with catching a fish out of season. Joseph Shapiro/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Joseph Shapiro/NPR

Supreme Court Ruling Not Enough To Prevent Debtors Prisons

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/313118629/314447927" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Big Fees For The Big Easy's Poorest Defendants

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/314293287/314293288" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Unpaid Court Fees Land The Poor In 21st Century Debtors' Prisons

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/314138887/314138888" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The proliferation of court fees has prompted some states, like New Jersey, to use amnesty programs to encourage the thousands of people who owe fines to surrender in exchange for fee reductions. At the Fugitive Safe Surrender program, makeshift courtrooms allow judges to individually handle each case. Nicole Beemsterboer/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Nicole Beemsterboer/NPR

As Court Fees Rise, The Poor Are Paying The Price

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/312158516/313996804" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Feds List Schools Under Investigation For Abuse Claims

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/308899230/308899231" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript