Supes Vote To Eliminate Administrative Court Fees
The Patch ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA — The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday 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 on 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. They said that's because the debts cause such people to have problems getting credit, housing and jobs. Currently, Alameda County charges defendants probation supervision fees of between $30 to $90 per month, pre-charge investigation report fees of between $250 and $710 and $150 or more for representation by the Public Defender's Office.
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