Some legislators in Ohio and other states avoid raising taxes by increasing court-related fines and fees. According to some advocacy groups and concerned lawmakers, such actions are unintentionally punishing indigent offenders who can't afford such payments. In some instances, poor defendants unable to pay end up in local jails for lengthy stays before having their day in court. Others are placed on probation for long periods until their court debts can be paid.
Several legal groups and nonprofit organizations continue to challenge what they believe are unfair court policies that do more harm than good for indigent offenders. This is in spite of the fact that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1983 declared it unconstitutional to detain individuals unable to pay fines. One group founded in 2016 has litigated twenty-plus lawsuits in an effort to challenge what they refer to as "user-funded justice."