STATEHOUSE (May 6, 2019) – Legislation authored by State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) providing offenders the option of paying court fees with community service was recently signed into law by the governor.
Currently, a convicted person who does not pay their court fees by a specified date defaults and can be sent to jail. Pressel said making these offenders serve time does not reimburse the court, but instead leaves taxpayers to foot the bill.
“Sending these offenders to jail pushes their unpaid fines onto taxpayers,” Pressel said. “By giving them the option of community service, we can put a stop to this cycle of jail time while ensuring they contribute something toward what they owe to the court.”
Under the new law, a court could reduce some or all of the costs owed by a person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor if they perform community service. Pressel said courts can determine the number of hours volunteered, multiply the hours by the state minimum wage, and subtract that figure from the total amount owed.
State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) represents House District 20,
which includes portions of LaPorte and Starke counties.
Click here for a high-resolution photo of Pressel.