Poor Not Guilty

#PoorNotGuilty launched in September 2019 during a communication advocacy workshop which Lien Tran organized with international petty offenses advocates held at University of Miami prior to the Petty Offenses Symposium: Challenging Criminalization of Poverty, Marginalization, and Gender Non-Conformity hosted by UM’s School of Law’s Human Rights Clinic, UM Law Review, UM School of CommunicationNational Homelessness Law Center, and Open Society Foundations’ Human Rights Initiative. Attendees joined the workshop from Canada, Guinea, Guyana, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

For more information: visit poornotguilty.org

Poor Not Guilty Challenges (PNG Challenges)

The Poor Not Guilty Challenges are a collaboration between University of Miami’s School of Law’s Human Rights Clinic, and Lien Tran through her Matters at Play lab to engage in creative advocacy through perspective-taking to advocate for the human rights and just treatment of those experiencing homelessness and poverty. The initial challenges use scenarios specific to the United States and there is researching currently being conducted on the Caribbean context.

Poor Not Guilty Challenges: Fines + Fees

The Poor Not Guilty Challenges: Fines + Fees are a series of interactive scenarios that highlight how fines and fees for petty offenses create impossible situations for those experiencing poverty and/or homelessness. Each scenario asks the player to make a series of choices in response to an inciting circumstance with the goal of escaping the cycle of financial punishment in which they are trapped.

To varying degrees throughout the U.S., cities and states impose heavy fines for minor offenses at every stage of the criminal justice system. Millions of Americans get trapped in a cycle of punishment simply because they can’t afford to pay these fines and fees. Without any means of escape from a system designed to punish poverty, many Americans lose their jobs, homes, and even their children.

Almost every city has laws that punish and fine people experiencing homelessness for engaging in necessary activities, such as sleeping or sitting in public. These types of policies criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes, including the lack of access to adequate housing.

The Fines + Fees set of challenges were designed in close collaboration with both the National Homelessness Law Center (NHLC) and the Fines and Fees Justice Center (FFJC) and incorporate findings from and invite players to join their Free to Drive and Housing Not Handcuffs campaigns, respectively.

Partnership logos for Poor Not Guilty
Check out the Buckle Up Challenge where players can learn about the cycle of poverty perpetuated by minor traffic violations.
Play now at: https://poornotguilty.org/play/buckle_up/
Play the Drive It Home Challenge to learn how fines and fees associated with vehicle residency reinforce homelessness.
Play now at: https://poornotguilty.org/play/drive_it_home
Play the Park It Challenge to learn how fees associated with life-sustaining activities in public reinforce homelessness.
Play now at https://poornotguilty.org/play/park_it

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