Since the 1970s, Philadelphia Rule of Criminal Procedure 528 allowed courts to keep 3% of total bail posted by defendants, even if they appeared at all hearings required by their bail bond. This October amendment ensures that defendants will receive 100% of their posted bail after their case is closed.
Appellant was held in contempt and incarcerated for failure to pay his court fines and fees without any inquiry into his ability to pay. The appellant mentioned that his sibling may be able to pay, but no further inquiry was made by the court. He was sentenced to thirty days imprisonment with credit for time served and a $200 fee to purge the contempt.
This study analyzes data from more than 1,000 justice-involved youth in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in order to answer two questions: (1) how do demographics and case characteristics correlate with imposition of fines and fees, and (2) how do fines and fees correlate with recidivism rates?
Pennsylvania’s 2015 House Bill 2043 mandates that courts provide community service and payment plans as alternatives for people who would experience manifest hardship if they had to pay all of their fines and fees at once.
This seminal report examines fines and fees practices in the fifteen U.S. states with the highest prison populations, focusing on “user fees” and their impact on individuals reentering society after incarceration.