The Impact of Criminal Fines & Fees for LA. County Residents
Alicia Virani, The Gilbert Foundation Director of the Criminal Justice Program, authored a new report that uncovers the burdensome costs of court-imposed probation conditions—specifically the costs of batterers’ intervention programs (BIP) in Los Angeles County. The report presents information from 83 BIPs throughout the County and found that the median annual cost of these programs is $1,300, and that almost 25% of the programs do not offer a sliding scale. Additionally, over half of the programs do not accept fee waivers from the court; a mechanism meant to help people who are indigent to complete conditions of probation. The report highlights the unjust situation that people without money are likely to be penalized, and potentially incarcerated, for their inability to afford a program that they are required to complete as part of their probation conditions.
Mental Health Resource for Judicial Officers
As part of the Criminal Justice Program’s work with the Los Angeles County Jail Population Review Council, we developed a bench card for criminal court judges to help guide their understanding of the options available to them when choosing to divert or sentence individuals with mental health disorders.