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Improving California’s Criminal Fine and Fee System


Report

Restructuring the Court-Ordered Debt Collection Process

November 10, 2014 - As an additional resource, this handout gives a high level overview of the report.


Court-ordered debt collected from defendants convicted of traffic violations or criminal offenses provides revenue to a number of state and local funds, which in turn support a variety of programs including trial court operations and victim assistance. As a result, the state has an interest in ensuring that such debt is collected in a cost-effective manner that maximizes the amount of revenue available to support these programs. Based on our review of the existing collections process for court-ordered debt, we believe that improvements can be made to help increase collections of such debt and the amount of revenue available for distribution to various state and local funds. Specifically, we recommend: (1) realigning the current court-ordered debt collection process to the courts, (2) piloting a new collections incentive model that would reward courts for improving collections, and (3) improving data collection to enable comprehensive evaluations of the performance of collection programs.

Report

[PDF] The 2017-18 Budget: Governor’s Criminal Fine and Fee Proposals

March 3, 2017 - The Governor’s 2017‑18 budget includes three specific proposals related to the state’s criminal fine and fee system. In this report, we provide a general overview of the fine and fee system and then discuss each of the Governor’s proposals. In particular, we assess the impact that each proposal would have on the system and make recommendations for legislative consideration.

Report

[PDF] The 2015-16 Budget: Governor's Criminal Justice Proposals

February 20, 2015 - The Governor’s budget proposes a total of $15 billion from various fund sources for judicial and criminal justice programs in 2015-16. This is an increase of $306 million, or about 2 percent, above estimated expenditures for the current year. In the report we provide an analysis of the Governor's budget proposals for state criminal justice departments and programs, including for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the judicial branch, various local public safety programs, and the Department of Justice. The report reviews the most significant proposals in these areas and offers corresponding recommendations for the Legislature's consideration.

Report

[PDF] The 2016-17 Budget: Governor’s Criminal Justice Proposals

February 22, 2016 - In this report, we provide an analysis of the Governor's budget proposals for state criminal justice departments and programs, including for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the judicial branch, the Department of Justice, and various local public safety programs. We review the most significant proposals in these areas and offer corresponding recommendations for the Legislature's consideration.

Report

[PDF] The 2013-14 Budget: Governor's Criminal Justice Proposals

February 15, 2013 - The Governor’s 2013-14 budget for criminal justice programs is relatively flat. It contains few major proposals for the judiciary or corrections compared with recent years when the state budget included significant budget cuts to programs, as well as major policy changes. In total, the Governor's budget provides $13.2 billion for criminal justice programs in 2013-14. This is an increase of about 2 percent over estimated current-year expenditures. In this report, we review the Governor’s 2013-14 budget proposals for criminal justice programs, including the judicial branch, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Board of State and Community Corrections, and the Department of Justice. We identify concerns with several of the proposals and make recommendations for legislative consideration. In some cases, we identify proposals that we think should be rejected or modified, resulting in several million dollars of General Fund savings. We also identify several issues that we think would benefit from additional legislative oversight. These include (1) how trial courts will implement budget reductions in coming years, particularly in the absence of reserves beginning in 2014-15, (2) the new staffing methodology being implemented by the federal court-appointed Receiver currently managing the state’s inmate medical system, and (3) efforts by the Board of State and Community Corrections to meet its statutory mission to assist local agencies improve criminal justice outcomes through technical assistance and data collection.

Handout

[PDF] Overview of Criminal Fine and Fee System

May 13, 2021 - Presented to: Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections, Public Safety, Judiciary, Labor and Transportation Hon. María Elena Durazo, Chair

Report

[PDF] Analysis of the 1994-95 Budget Bill, Judiciary and Criminal Justice Chapter

February 22, 1994 - Analysis of the 1994-95 Budget Bill, Judiciary and Criminal Justice Chapter

Report

[PDF] Trial Court Funding "Realignment"

February 1, 1992 - In this analysis, we (1) review the short-term implementation issues surrounding Chapter 90 and the related measures, and (2) identify a number of policy issues that the Legislature will need to address as it considers providing additional support for the trial courts for the budget year and beyond.

Report

[PDF] Analysis of the 1995-96 Budget Bill, Judiciary and Criminal Justice Chapter

February 22, 1995 - Analysis of the 1995-96 Budget Bill, Judiciary and Criminal Justice Chapter

Handout

[PDF] Overview of Criminal Fine and Fee System

February 27, 2017 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Public Safety

Report

The 2022-23 Budget: Judicial Branch Proposals

February 3, 2022 - This publication provides our assessment and recommendations on the Governor’s 2022-23 budget proposals related to the judicial branch.

Report

[PDF] The 2010-11 Budget: Automated Speed Enforcement Merits Authorization

January 27, 2010 - This policy brief examines the Governor’s special session proposal to generate additional state revenues from penalties imposed on drivers who are caught speeding through the use of automated speed enforcement (ASE) systems. In this brief, we outline how ASE systems would work, assess the administration’s estimate of new state revenues from this approach, and provide our comments and recommendations on the proposal.