Meghan O'Neil

Fees and Fines in Community Corrections: A Multi-State Study

Research Project Description

We are proposing a multi-state, mixed methods study that examines how fees and fines operate in community corrections (probation and parole) and how they impact the ability of individuals to succeed on supervision. Fines are generally used for punitive purposes and typically go to the courts whereas fees are used to recover a portion of the cost for providing supervision or administering an aspect of the supervision (i.e. programming or drug testing). Little is known about the true impact of fees and fines for those on community supervision. Yet, these monetary burdens may influence one's ability to succeed on community supervision. The reach of these practices are extensive and far reaching; the majority of those under correctional control in the United States are under community supervision and subject to fines and fees. Their successes or failures are similarly large scale. When the burden of paying fees and fines interferes with an individual's ability to adhere to supervision conditions, their supervision can be revoked impacting individual lives as well as correctional budgets. As such, states seek understanding of how they might reduce revocations to prevent growth of the prison population. A review of the role of monetary requirements of community supervision is thus timely and has far reaching implications.

Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Funding Period: 7/1/2018 to 12/31/2018

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