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Pretrial fees continue despite goals of General Assembly

An African American woman sits on a bed on the floor. Her face is not visible., She is wearing black leggings and white socks. A GPS monitor is around her ankle.
GPS monitoring rose during the pandemic, and people assigned home detention pay hundreds per month in fees. Credit: uusc4all/Flickr

COVID-19 delayed trials and motivated judges to order home monitoring. The trade off? The fees charged to defendants for private electronic supervision as they await trial mounted up.

A new law to waive fees for low income people went into effect July 1--but fees are still being charged, until early October.

We discuss the obstacles to getting started.

Chief Judge John P. Morrissey of the District Court of Maryland
Todd Oppenheim, supervising attorney in the Baltimore City Public Defenders’ Office
Iman Freeman, executive director of the Baltimore Legal Action Team
Delegate Luke Clippinger
Delegate Stephanie Smith

Correction: HB316 passed without Governor Hogan's signature. In the introduction, we incorrectly described the bill as "signed into law."

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.