"Having $39,000 in fines doesn't affect somebody who doesn't care. It doesn't affect a junkie in a basement shooting up.  . . .  But for somebody like me, doing everything they are supposed to be doing, and owes more in legal financial obligations than in student loans, and can't buy a house, can't help send their children to college, can't do more than get by. People should care. I did the crimes and I did the time and I'm still paying for it 16 years later in every aspect of my life. . . .  They could arrest me. I live in fear of it. But I just don't have the money. I've got a bunch of kids and I'm just trying to maintain a good life for them. My husband has a great job but we are barely getting by." 

                                      ~ Sabrina                                                                                                              

Sabrina, almost 8-months pregnant, with her son Iain on the day of our interview. 

Sabrina and her husband have six children and one baby girl on the way. As a child and into her teens, several men in her mother's life emotionally, physically, and sexually abused Sabrina, leading to her living in many relatives' homes. She started using methamphetamines at 17 to to try and connect with her mother. 

Sabrina pled guilty to first-degree assault and was sentenced to 112 months and approximately $5,000 in LFOs. By the time she got out of prison, that sum had increased to $12,000 and today she owes approximately $39,000. She recently started making $200 monthly payments towards her LFOs, in addition to taking care of her children and paying her own college tuition. She will graduate in June 2017.

On Legal Financial Obligations . . .

Coming soon!

Sabrina and her husband rent this 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom home, which is perfect for their family. Although their landlord wants to sell it to them at a great price, they can't qualify for a loan because their income-to-debt ratio is too high.  "I owe too much on fines to qualify" Sabrina explains.