Researching Public Law and Public Policy in the Public Interest

Reduced public funding forces municipal courts to focus on revenue generating fines, resulting in the uneven application of justice. Court fines and jail time in lieu of ability to pay has disparate impact on poor and minority constituents. These practices can have lasting and devastating consequences for individuals, regardless of whether they are ultimately found culpable of any charge. In this paper, Rutgers law student Michael Simone illuminates how this process plays out in New Jersey and beyond.

Download the paper

ABSTRACT: This analysis addresses the disparity in prenatal health outcomes between the City of Paterson and Wayne Township in New Jersey. It guides the reader through the experiences of a hypothetical pregnant woman living in Paterson to examine the institutional and non-institutional factors that prevent this pregnant woman, and others like her, from accessing appropriate prenatal care. This paper also discusses the relationship between the inability to access proper prenatal care and the perpetuation of poverty and inequality.

The number of children living in poverty in Essex County has increased over the past 15 years, with 1 in 3 children now living in poverty. The number of children in highly concentrated poverty has increased, and is spreading from the City of Newark to its inner ring suburbs.
CLiME Director David Troutt comments on the the New Jersey Supreme Court's latest Mt. Laurel decision: "Even amid dramatic national change, a lot about life is still local."
While the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule requires cities to assess their housing stock in order to reduce disparities, the Newark Housing Authority follows the national pattern of dismissing racial integration.
The Morris district is notable in that it has long been committed to diversity, even as the composition of its student body has changed. Meanwhile, schools nearby and in New York City have remained deeply segregated.
"We have to do a better job of assessing the cause of violence, the impact of violence – and this is where trauma-informed care plays a major role," community activist Jack Farrell explains in his interview with CLiME. 
Either New Jersey’s poor have greater access to the resources available in more affluent parts of the state, or the places where New Jersey’s poor live must receive more resources from the areas that have benefited from excluding them.