Charging Defendants for Court Employees’ Gym Costs

Fact: In some states, defendants are charged hundreds or thousands of dollars for their own arrest warrants, court-ordered drug and alcohol rehabilitation services, to have DNA samples collected, and even for jury trials.

Fact: In Michigan, an impoverished man was charged $1000 in court costs related to forging a prescription to pay for the following:

  • his court-appointed attorney
  • salaries of court employees
  • heat in the court building
  • operating telephones and copy machines
  • underwriting the cost of the court employees’ fitness gym

Fact: In some cases, a defendant can do community service in lieu of fines. However, there is often a per day fee for this.

Fact: A 2004 Department of Justice survey estimates that over 65% of prisoners leave jail financially indebted to the state. A more recent estimate places the figure at 80 to 85%.

SourceGuilty As Charged, NPR


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