Proposed bill would stop offenders from going back to jail for failing to pay fees


The Missouri House is voting to prevent judges from putting past offenders back behind bars if they fail to pay their jail fees.

Those bills are for the housing, clothing, and food costs during an inmates sentence. Supporters of House Bill 192 say they’re working to end the cycle of debt and incarceration that many Missourians face.

Instead of sentencing people to more jail time if they don’t make payments, a local sheriff would collect the money through civil proceedings or a judge can just waive the costs. Offenders would also no longer be required to show up for hearings in reference to jail bill payments.

Legislators say these fees are not the same as court costs or fines. The House voted with an overwhelming majority of 156 to 1 to pass the bill onto the Senate for consideration.

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