Henry King Ransom Professor of Law, Law School; Professor of Economics (courtesy); Faculty Associate, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research; Co-Director, Empirical Legal Studies Center; Co-Director, Program in Law and Economics
JJ Prescott’s research interests revolve around criminal law, sentencing law and reform, employment law, and the dynamics of civil litigation, particularly settlement. He is trained in both law and economics, and much of his research is empirical in focus. Prescott is the principal investigator for the U-M Online Court Project, which uses technology to help people facing warrants, fines, and minor charges resolve their disputes with the government and courts online and without the need of an attorney. Prescott is a member of the working group for Access to Justice and Fairness for the National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices, and has a number of ongoing research projects related to access to justice and improving the ability of the justice system to accurately assess litigants’ ability to pay.
Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology; J.D. Harvard University; B.A. Stanford University
Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office: Racial Equity Study and Criminal Justice Dashboard
Targeting Poverty in the Courts: Improving the Measurement of Ability to Pay The project: In March 2015, the U.S. Justice Department issued a scathing report that outlined the systematic criminalization of offenses like parking and minor traffic tickets and even unmowed lawns. Fines and failure to pay result in cascading consequences that illustrate the legal cost of being poor: mounting fines and late fees, license suspensions, and […]