Reducing Criminal Justice Fines and Fees: How Can Counties Afford It?

Mar. 12, 2020 , 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

As counties have seen revenue from taxes and grants shrink, many have turned to administrative fees as a way to help fund the justice system. It is common for justice-involved individuals to pay fees for: being booked in jail, making phone calls inside the jail, diversion, indigent defense, posting a bond, being sentenced to probation and restoring driver licenses, among other actions. Judges can also order convicted individuals to pay a fine for each guilty charge, sometimes in lieu of jail time. However, data shows that the justice system disproportionately impacts the poor, and the responsibility of paying fines and fees can lead to devastating effects for these individuals, significant costs to county governments to attempt to collect less than 100 percent of levied fees and fines and unintended consequences within other areas government. On this webinar, national experts and county officials will discuss their experiences and work to better align policy goals to reduce and eliminate justice related fines and fees while balancing revenue impacts and upholding public safety.

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