People on probation or parole pay as much as $208 a month to be supervised by law enforcement. Here’s why some advocates think that should end

Dozens of Americans are currently paying for the privilege of being on parole or probation, and many of them are at risk of remaining even more in the justice system and even locked up if they do not meet their financial obligations.

A new report released Tuesday by the Center for Justice in Fines and Tariffs and the Alliance for Reform shows that most states have laws on books that allow people on parole or parole to be charged a “tax rate.” supervision, independent of all other “scheduling” fees in. The person may have to cover the costs associated with drug testing, counseling, classes, electronic monitoring, and more.

These supervision fees, which range from a flat rate of $ 10 a month to more than $ 208 a month for people on parole or parole, can include penalties if a person is unable to pay. According to the report, thirty-two states allow a person’s parole to be revoked or extended by unpaid dues. Meanwhile, a person on parole can face revocation in 30 states and can’t get switched off parole until outstanding dues are paid in at least 16 states.

“Parole and parole should support people trying to re-enter their communities and become good neighbors and good citizens.”

– Tim Curry, Investigating Director of the Justice and Fees Justice Center

“States should prohibit the imposition of probation and parole supervision fees and should prohibit the imposition of fees or costs related to programming or services that are conditional or conditional release conditions,” the group’s report argues. defense. “The imposition of fees related to parole and parole are contrary to the interests of justice.”

Because rates differ from state to state and county to county, it can be a little difficult to know how much the average person might pay, although rates are likely to be a widely shared experience between people in the criminal justice system. Nearly 4 million Americans were on parole or conditional release by the end of 2020, according to government data, or about 1 in 66 of all adult residents.

People living on parole and parole are disproportionately black due to the historic over-imprisonment of people of color in the U.S.

“Parole and parole should support people trying to re-enter their communities and become good neighbors and good citizens,” said Tim Curry, director of research at the Center for Fines and Tariff Justice. . “But when they are loaded with things that make it difficult or impossible for them to achieve the goals set by parole or parole, no one wins. The fees we attach have nothing to do with responsibility.”

“These are purely regressive taxes assigned to a certain segment of our community to pay for government services,” he added.

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