Few Winners When Courts Privatize the Collection of Public Debts


Every Wednesday morning, the East Bay Community Law Center runs a walk-in clinic out of its office in Berkeley, Calif.

The clinic is run by the Center’s Clean Slate Practice, which focuses on “the decriminalization of poverty,” according to Brandon Greene, one of its lead attorneys. Some of Greene’s colleagues do post-conviction work, helping to seal arrest records, reduce probation, and help people who’ve been denied employment because of criminal backgrounds. But Greene’s clients are facing a particular set of issues: court-ordered debt related to things like traffic violations and parking tickets.