The fines and fees Justice Center: working towards a more equitable justice system in america
The Fines and Fees Justice Center (FFJC) has an incredible wealth of materials about fines and fees in the American justice system. Want to know precisely how many people in Florida lost their driver’s licenses for nonpayment of fines this year? Ask them. Looking for best practices for taking agency-level action? Ask them. Need a catalog of litigation around fees? Ask them.
So we knew from the start that we wouldn’t be making FFJC any old WordPress site. They needed a site that was beautiful enough to draw people in and intuitive enough that they could navigate all of its content. So, we made them a Clearinghouse.
resources for advocates, legislators, and journalists
The concept of the Clearinghouse is simple. FFJC has lots of different kinds of content and it could be cut in any number of ways. One staffer might be interested in legislation in about corrections fees in Florida. A journalist could be writing a story about pilot programs in Texas. And we want to make sure that those users have an easy and intuitive way of finding what they’re looking for.
To do this, we built a powerful search and filtering system (that we affectionately nicknamed “Phil”). Phil is our specialist digital librarian and he can keep any number of parameters in his head. Users can drill down into the content by jurisdiction, content type, and topic all at the same time. What’s more, he’s easy to maintain from the administrator’s point of view and he’s mobile-friendly. You can see him in his natural habitat below.
beyond the clearinghouse
We’re very proud of Phil and he has done his job well. And since going live, we’ve kept working with FFJC. We monitor their servers to make sure that everything is humming along nicely; we’ve built out the functionality of the site to host embedded Story Maps; we’ve designed templates for print materials. And we look forward to continuing to help them work towards a more equitable justice system.