DETROIT (AP) — People convicted of crimes in Michigan are subsidizing the cost of operating local courts after the Legislature passed a law in 2014 to overcome a major ruling by the state Supreme Court.
The justices had unanimously stopped a practice that was bringing in millions from convicts. But the impact of that decision didn’t last long. Lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder approved a law to make recovery of court costs legal.
The Michigan Association of Counties had warned that the ruling could wreck courts across the state.
Convicts can be assessed a portion of court costs, such as salaries, maintenance and services. It can be $1,000 or more for felonies. Critics say it hits people who can’t afford it.
There will be more debate before the law expires in 2017.