In order to test whether a temporary reduction in fines might increase collections, the Administrative Office of the Courts piloted a Fine Reduction Program between September 2010 and December 2010. The program offered defendants with civil traffic cases in collections for three or more years a 50% reduction of their total debt (excluding fines and fees associated with DUI charges and criminal charges, and also excluding restitution). Eligible defendants received a one-time fine reduction notice by mail offering the 50% discount.
- The program collected $62,915 for 395 cases, money that Arizona courts “may not have otherwise received.”
- Arizona courts closed 450 cases as a result of this four-month program.
- The report notes that the collections rate for program participants increased to 4.8%, but does not specify the courts’ collections rate outside of this program, which is presumably lower.
- However, due to the additional costs incurred by administering the program, Arizona courts concluded that “the costs to further develop and implement the fine reduction program outweigh benefits” and recommended that courts return to collecting 100% of fines assessed.