U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

FY 16 The Price of Justice: Rethinking the Consequences of Justice Fines and Fees: The Price of Justice Technical Assistance (Category 2)

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $500,000)

The purpose of the FY 2016 Price of Justice: Rethinking the Consequences of Justice Fines and Fees Program is to encourage and disseminate best practices for coordinated and appropriate justice system responses to justice-involved individuals’ inability to pay fines, fees, and related charges, including eliminating unnecessary and unconstitutional confinement. The objectives of the program are the following: increase corrections costs saved or avoided by reducing unnecessary confinement; support the use of data analysis upon which fair and effective policies and practices related to criminal justice financial obligations can be based; promote and increase collaboration and data sharing among criminal justice agencies and officials regarding assessment, collection, prioritization, and tracking of fines, fees, and related costs, including state and local policymakers, law enforcement, prosecution, defense, pretrial, courts, probation, treatment, corrections, reentry, and parole; and support tailored alternatives to fines, fees, and costs that promote, rather than undermine, rehabilitation, reintegration, and community trust.

The provider will assist selected jurisdictions in improving their capacity to reduce unnecessary confinement due to justice-involved individuals’ inability to pay fines, fees, and related charges. Assistance will cover a broad range of subjects (including but not limited to court administration, budget formulation, debt collection, probation and parole practices, pretrial, and jail admissions) and target the following objectives: increase transparency in the jurisdiction among stakeholders and justice-involved individuals regarding the fines, fees, and costs; payment options; and consequences for non-payment; increase understanding of the incentives created through justice agencies’ reliance on fines and fees through budget analysis to map monies required to be paid, actually received, and disbursed; increase understanding of and establishing regular reporting of use of jail or prison resources for responding to failures to pay and related violations (e.g., failure to appear related to failure to pay and probation or parole violations leading to revocation); and improve adherence to and application of key legal concepts including indigence, inability to pay, and willful nonpayment. The provider will further assist stakeholders in planning to ensure timely and faithful implementation of proposed activities and provide technical expertise and guidance regarding operational and programmatic aspects of implementation.

Funds will be used to target local sites to achieve greater impact; promote the use of evidence-based programs and strategies by third-party treatment and programming providers; enhance paroling authorities’ use of evidence-based policy, practice, and decision making; create or expand the continuum of pretrial options in one or more jurisdictions; develop and pilot measures and analyses that account for population characteristics including crime type, risk level, and criminal history; establish or enhance performance incentive funding programs to encourage successful integration of evidence-based practices in community supervision; pilot or scale up swift and certain or intermediate and graduated sanctions; or other uses that further justice reinvestment goals.


Date Created: September 9, 2016