Illinois General Assembly Considering Criminal Court Fee Overhaul

Apr 12, 2017
Originally published on April 12, 2017 6:15 am

A report says current court fees inject “unfairness” into the justice system. 

Criminal defendants are hit with what the investigation calls a “dizzying" array of fees.  The money funds a variety of programs, including DNA testing, new police cars, and research into spinal cord injuries.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Democrat from Northbrook, says Illinois' financial difficulties have led lawmakers to look for money wherever they can.

"And one of the easiest places to do that is on criminal defendants, who don’t have a voice here in Springfield and don’t have a lobby.”

The bipartisan legislation she’s co-sponsoring would lower court fees and waive them for defendants who cannot afford to pay.  It would also standardize fees across the state. Nekritz says today, neighboring counties can impose dramatically different fees for the same offense

Copyright 2017 WNIJ-FM. To see more, visit WNIJ-FM.