Justice Shouldn’t be Denied to Low-Income Citizens

The tidal wave of the great recession shrank the middle class and zapped the purchasing power of everyday Americans.

People are working longer hours than ever before, but they’re still one emergency away from not being able to pay rent or buy the prescription medicines they need.

One of the toughest and most expensive emergencies is a legal problem. These days, legal bills are astronomical, and can be a stretch even for people with high salaries.

Imagine being hit with nine legal problems a year. Every year.

That statistic is no exaggeration. Here’s the truth:

▪ Seventy-one percent of low-income families in our state say they faced at least one legal problem in 2014.

▪ In 2002, the same survey found an average of 3.3 legal problems per low-income household.

▪ By 2014, that number skyrocketed to 9.3 problems per year. Most of those problems flow from a single event, like being a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. That’s unfathomable; most middle-class and wealthy people don’t face nine legal problems in their lifetimes.

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