The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last week to approve an ordinance that eliminates administrative court fees for people who are convicted of crimes.
If the full board votes as expected to approve a second reading of the ordinance next Tuesday (Dec. 4), Alameda County will become only the second county in the U.S. to eliminate the fees, following San Francisco, which took that step earlier this year.
In addition, $26 million in court administrative fees that haven't been collected will be waived.
The new policy would take effect in January.
Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods, the East Bay Community Law Center, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and other groups told the board that the fees should be eliminated because they create a long-term financial burden for low-income people who already served time for their crimes but then have problems turning their lives around.Continue reading...