Nashville plans to conduct an in-depth analysis of the fines and fees associated with its criminal justice system.
The announcement comes in the midst of a national push to overhaul the criminal justice system’s reliance on court and jail fees. One that advocates say is an antiquated system that disproportionately impacts poor and minority citizens.
The Mayor’s office says it will look closely at fairness, as well as issues such as where the fees are coming from, the impact they have on Nashville’s revenue and how the city can curb them.
Though the announcement stops short of committing to phasing out such fees — which can run the gamut from the cost of getting bailed out of jail to fines for minor traffic violations — it does say it hopes to reduce the city’s reliance on the revenue they generate.
Mayor David Briley said the examination is made possible by two organizations, the National League of Cities and PFM, New York-based research group that includes former Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas.
Nashville was awarded the analysis free of cost after submitting a proposal with PFM. It is one of three counties — including Dallas and Ramsey County, Minnesota — to be awarded the services.
A final report with data analysis and policy recommendations will be given to Metro by the fall of 2019.