Every year in California, people who come into contact with the criminal justice system are charged thousands of dollars in administrative fees, including fees for a public defender and probation registration. In some counties, probation registration alone came with a $1,800 price tag.
These fees are mostly charged to low-income people of color who are trying to get back on their feet and unable to pay off this debt while also trying to find jobs and house themselves and their families.
Even when people can find jobs, this debt means garnished wages, dings to their credit scores, and increased instability. Local governments sometimes end up spending more money trying to collect fees than the fees are worth.
That’s why we’re supporting SB 144, a bill that will eliminate these fees and help people get their lives back on track. Ask your state senator to vote YES on SB 144!