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Criminal Justice & Legal System

New commission looks for a more fair way to fund criminal courts

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What is the most appropriate way to pay for criminal courts in Michigan? That's the essential question before the Michigan Trial Court Funding Commission.

The commission is grappling with how much of the cost of administering justice should be paid for by the people who use the courts, i.e. those who are ticketed and/or arrested -- and how much of the financial burden should fall to citizens, regardless of whether or not they'll ever see the inside of a courtroom.

At its meeting later this week, the commission will be reviewing what happened in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 as an example of the potential negative consequences of a profit-motivated justice system.

Judge Tom Boydchair of the Michigan Trial Court Funding Commission and Chief Judge of the 55th District Court in Ingham County, joined Stateside to discuss the implications of People v. Cunningham on court funding, the variance of fines and fees in the state’s courts, the daily consequences for individuals facing those fines and fees, and the goal of the commission.

Listen above.

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