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Indiana Bill Proposes Community Service for Offenders to Pay Off Court Fees

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Indiana Bill Proposes Community Service for Offenders to Pay Off Court FeesIndiana Bill Proposes Community Service for Offenders to Pay Off Court Fees
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Indiana Bill Proposes Community Service for Offenders to Pay Off Court Fees

Still ahead on 44news at nine.

Money to the courts may soon be able to work off their debt through community service.

Indiana state representativ e ryan hatfield proposes new legislation?

Aimed at easing the financial burden on people accused of breaking the law.

44news reporter amanda porter joins us live in studio with the details.

Amanda?

When someone is convicted of a crime they may face jail time, a fine, or both.

Time served is one thing, but not paying the fine or other court costs could mean even more jail time.

House bill 1?87 would let judges offer community service, and possibly help with jail overcrowdin g.

Its clear that crime doesn't pay, and those who commit crimes almost always pay more than serving time in custody.

Court fees accumulate and have to be paid?

And if they aren't?

They could face even more time in jail.

However?

Some indiana lawmakers are hoping to make a change.

A newl?

Proposed house bill 1?87 is designed to move people through the system, and help with jail overcrowdin g.

"folks who have served their time, done all the other requirements, maybe they've done some house arrest or a jail stint and they are at the end of the process but they still owe fee's."

Offenders would be able to work off their court fees through the existing community services program at 7.25 an hour the bill would allow a judge to determine whether someone is appropriate to work off their fees or not.

"this is not intended for serious, violent felons."

Court costs can start at 185 dollars or more, so an offender could work at least 26 hours of community service to pay off their debt.

"here in vanderburgh county every year we have tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid court fees this will bring more cases to a close.

It will allow judges to have a wider discretion than what they do when somebody is unable to pay those fee's and it also introduces a lot of these folks to community service programs that they can use to get jobs and to continue to thrive as they r?enter the community."

House bill 1?87 is now heading to the senate.

Representativ e hatfield says he is hopeful that the bill will pass, and governor holcomb will sign it into effect.




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