This study reviews the features of State programs that charge general supervision fees to probationers and parolees and notes reasons for opposition to such fees.
Methods to determine the amount of supervision fees are uniform monthly rates, flat rates, monthly fees set within an allowable range, discretionary rates, and combined flat rate/monthly fee. Enabling legislation is presented for Oregon, Texas, Mississippi, California, Colorado, Florida, and Indiana. Policies of waivering fee payments are presented for Tennessee, California, Florida, Georgia, and Oregon. Data show the revenue generated by supervision fees and the recipients of the revenue for various States. Data indicate (1) substantial amounts of money are provided by supervision fees, (2) moderate fees can be collected from most probationers and parolees, (3) guidelines can ensure equitable enforcement, and (4) legal challenges to fees have not succeeded. Criticisms of the fee program are (1) supervision agencies become collection agencies, (2) the cost of administering a fee program does not justify the revenues generated, (3) it is a debilitating hardship for offenders, and (4) fee enforcement through revocation is not practical. Questions yet to be answered about supervision fees are listed. An appended summary of a 1980 study of fees for correctional services (Sasfy) and the report on a survey of legal issues attending such fees (Sasfy). 6 notes.
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Corrections Information Series