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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Idaho contemplates new fees on criminals

Anyone who's ever sat through even a few felony dockets in just about any courthouse nationwide probably has noticed the same overwhelming pattern among criminals: They tend to be dirt poor, often as a result of their own poor choices but, no matter how the blame gets assigned, broke nonetheless. Further, ask any jail administrator how many inmates are taking up beds in their facilities for failing to pay fines, restitution or other fees and most will just roll their eyes.

That's why all the congralutatory back-slapping going on at the Idaho capitol today over a plan to impose new fees on criminals to help offset the state's spending cuts is a bit perplexing, and raises questions about whether any of the lawmakers enthusiastically embracing this concept have ever sat through a felony docket or toured a cram-packed county jail.

Here's the first draft of a story out of the Idaho Capitol today from the SR's Betsy Russell, and here's a link to an interesting post on her Eye on Boise blog.

David Wasson oversees coverage of politics and state and local government and assists with editing on the City Desk.

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