Statement by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas on the Elimination of Criminal Justice Fines and Fees

Photographer/Dave Franco)

“Fines and fees create barriers to reentry and keep many people trapped in the criminal justice system. They also criminalize poverty.

“For those who cannot afford the fines and fees, the penalties multiply, leading to collateral consequences like losing a driver’s license, being re-arrested, or struggling to find or keep housing. They are counterproductive to this Board’s pursuit of a rehabilitative model for the County’s criminal justice system, as well as in our efforts to tackle homelessness.

“I commend Supervisors Solis and Kuehl for leading on this important reform, as well as the many community stakeholders who have been advocating for this change. By eliminating fines and fees, the Board just took another important step towards fulfilling our vision of a fair and humane justice system – a vision that cannot be achieved without affording meaningful second chances.”