"A Pound of Flesh is a critical and timely book on a great contemporary American injustice: the imposition of legal fines and fees through the criminal courts. Alexes Harris' pioneering research documents the widespread practice of charging fines and fees to people who have contact with the criminal justice system--including some who are never convicted of a crime. The imposition of fines and fees creates a two-tiered legal system that separates those who have the ability to pay from those who don't. Through careful fieldwork and revealing interviews, Harris shows how judges and court clerks use fines and fees to punish poor people in unequal and enduring ways. Even small amounts of legal debt can be insurmountable obstacles for people living on the margins. A Pound of Flesh is a revolutionary book that has already made an impact on the national policy conversation. It provides an eye-opening account of how the American legal system shapes inequality and how inequality impacts access to justice."
--Becky Pettit, professor of sociology, The University of Texas at Austin