Exorbitant Criminal Administrative Fees Plunge People into Debt

LOS ANGELES — When you get out of jail in Los Angeles County, it’s almost never for free. Even if people have completed their sentences and paid their fines, they are hit with exorbitant administrative fees that have nothing to do with their punishments. The county fees, often amounting to thousands of dollars, saddle people and their families with crippling debt at the very time they are trying to put their lives back together. Studies have shown that the fees even contribute to recidivism.

Earlier this year, the court fees were eliminated in San Francisco County. A coalition of groups — including the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Debt Collective, Homeboy Industries, and Youth Justice Coalition — are asking L.A. county to do the same. The groups will hold a rally with speakers in front of the Board of Supervisors building and then go inside to give testimony on the issue.

WHAT: Rally and testimony at Board of Supervisors to protest unjust criminal justice fees. Rally will have several visual elements, including a piñata made of bills from the courts and balloons tied to participants’ ankles to show how much debt they owe.

WHO: Several speakers, including Lupita Carballo of the Youth Justice Coalition, Gabriel Lopez of Homeboy Industries, Sepuarior McCoy of A New Way of Life Reentry Project, and Devon Porter of the ACLU SoCal.

WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Outside the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 W Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA