VOICE OKC Spotlights Unjust Burden Fees Place on Low-Income Offenders


"VOICE — Voices Organized in Civic Engagement — reports that the poorest Oklahomans inevitably fall behind on their payments and are victim to an endless cycle of bench warrants, arrests, driver’s license suspensions and incarceration, thus exacerbating the state’s incarceration problem.

Many offenders can only afford a public offender[sic], cannot afford bail and are only given the evidence against them 10 days before trial. Thus, 95% of charges are pleaded out regardless of a person’s guilt, according to VOICE...

VOICE said the cost of collecting fines and fees takes money away from court services that could reduce recidivism, such as drug courts, mental health support and victim services."

[Photo Credit: Suzie Byrd, Enid News and Eagle]

Fees Add Financial Burden to OffendersCNHI News [pdf]