This resolution imposes an indefinite moratorium on the assessment and collection of certain criminal justice administrative fees charged by Contra Costa County, California. Specifically, the resolution addresses probation fees (including drug testing fees), public defender fees, and alternatives to incarceration such as electronic monitoring and work programs.
This ordinance eliminates criminal justice administrative fees charged by Alameda County, California. In particular, it eliminates county-imposed probation fees, public defender fees, and fees associated with the Sheriff’s Office Work Alternative Program.
This legislation discharges all outstanding debt owed by families on behalf of justice-involved youth and mandates that the county inform all affected parents and guardians that they should cease payment as soon as possible. The total amount of debt discharged was over $89 million.
James Brooks paid Leaders in Community Alternatives, a private probation company, $1,629 for 58 days to avoid jail and to continue to be able to care for his ill mother.
Alameda County contracts with Leaders in Community Alternatives (LCA) to provide court-ordered GPS tracking and alcohol monitoring devices for people on pre-trial or home detention. Although LCA is supposed to charge fees on a sliding scale based on a person’s ability to pay, LCA does not adjust its fees based on a person’s actual financial circumstances and never informs people that reduced fees are available.
In 2017, the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, Financial Justice Project, and Mayor’s Office of Budget and Public Policy studied the collateral consequences of criminal justice administrative fees on San Franciscans. Their findings were published in this report, which also coincides with 2018 San Francisco County legislation that abolished all discretionary fees imposed by the county.
This report reveals that California programs and services supported by revenue from fines and fees have been compromised by low-income motorists’ inability to pay those fines and fees.
Since 2010, dozens of cities in California have hired a private law firm to prosecute people on the city’s behalf for municipal code violation and in civil forfeiture cases.
California’s legislature moved to prohibit the state, cities and counties from charging defendants prosecution fees, including attorney’s fees, unless specifically authorized by state law.
This complaint alleges that the cities of Indio and Coachella outsourced the prosecution of some municipal code violations to a private law firm, Silver and Wright LLP.