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Sessions revokes Obama-era guidance on criminal justice fines and fees.

The letter, part of a package of resources aimed at reforming the use of such fines and fees, outlined certain practices the administration considered unconstitutional, such as incarcerating people for nonpayment without determining their ability to pay.The original letter, which no longer exists in the Department of Justice archives, is described in a press release. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs, “Justice Department Announces Resources to Assist State and Local Reform of Fine and Fee Practices,” press release (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, March 14, 2016). The original letter, which no longer exists in the Department of Justice archives, is described in a press release. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs, “Justice Department Announces Resources to Assist State and Local Reform of Fine and Fee Practices,” press release (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, March 14, 2016).[/footnote] In December 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked this guidance, calling it an example of government overreach. “Congress has provided for a regulatory process in statute,” Sessions said, “and we are going to follow it.”Matt Zapotosky, “Sessions Rescinds Justice Dept. Letter Asking Courts to be Wary of Stiff Fines and Fees for Poor Defendants,” Washington Post, December 21, 2017.