2016 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Karly Jo Dixon

Karly Jo Dixon

Name of Host Organization: The Texas Fair Defense Project
City, State: Austin, Texas
Issue area: Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
Sponsors: Friends & Family of Philip M. Stern

The Project

Empower, advocate, and litigate for Texans impacted by unconsititutional incarceration related to Class C misdemeanor criminal justice debt.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Individuals in Texas charged with Class C misdemeanors are not currently being appointed an attorney and over half a million Texans self-report that they have spent time in jail in order to pay off criminal justice debt. Without the aid of counsel, individuals plead guilty and are punished with fines they cannot afford. Unpaid criminal justice debt results in warrants for unpaid fines, additional fees, and jail time, as well as the collateral consequences related to having a criminal record.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Karly Jo is the right person for the project because:
• She has a background in community organizing and education
• She has experience working with indigent clients facing criminal charges
• While in law school she managed and developed probono projects for students

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