Washtenaw County Fines and Fees Justice Report


$924,749 in discretionary fees were waived for 409 indigent defendants within a year of reform implementation.

In August of 2022, Washtenaw County was selected to participate in the Cities and Counties for Fines and Fees Justice (CCFFJ) cohort led by the Fines and Fees Justice Center, the San Francisco Financial Justice Project, and Results for America. CCFFJ provides technical assistance and strategic guidance to local officials committed to reforming how fines and fees are assessed and collected. Leaders in multiple departments throughout Washtenaw County collaborated with elected officials and justice-involved individuals to collect and analyze budget data and develop strategies to eliminate fines and fees. This report details the impact and outcomes of the county’s efforts to eliminate non-statutory fines and fees related to incarceration and the local judicial process. Between October 2022 and July 2023, the reforms led to almost one million dollars in waived fees for indigent defendants.

You can read the full text here

Key Findings:

  • $924,749 in discretionary fees were waived for 409 indigent defendants within a year of implementing reform.
  • Michigan statute requires payments made by defendants towards criminal justice debt to be split between court costs/attorney fees and restitution; following the county’s policy reform, 100 percent of payments can now go towards restitution. 
  • Four fees—fingerprint, court costs, attorney costs, and supervision fees—were reduced or waived between October 2022 and July 2023.
Washtenaw County