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originally posted by: enlightenedservant
a reply to: pfishy
I've seen numbers from 80% to in the 90s. It might depend, based on the year & category. I was trying to find out what percentage of revenue was coming from which demographic, but I couldn't find that either.
Though to be fair, warrants shouldn't be lined up with a district's racial makeup but with the frequency of crimes. And the fact that their system was proven to target the African American community while giving reprieves for the white citizens is quite damning.
Also, remember, this is the district that was changing court dates without informing the citizens. And closing the doors to the courtrooms early, so citizens would be locked out & still seen as missing their court dates. The corruption is/was mind boggling.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -
Senate Bill 5 goes into effect on Friday. Several provisions will affect the Springfield Municipal Court.
READ: Missouri Senate Bill 5
"The two biggest ones are provisions that prohibit a court from detaining or incarcerating people that owe fines," said Judge Todd Thornhill with the Springfield Municipal Court. "So therefore, in that situation when people owe money but don't come in and pay, or don't come in and tell us why our hands are tied."
Municipal court employees have been preparing for these new mandates to take effect for over a month.
Missouri Senate Bill 5 summary
"This is probably the biggest impact so far. We have started, over 30 days ago recalling all of the old warrants we had issued for people that had owed fines. The number of warrants we had recalled is around 5,400 warrants," said Thornhill.
The measure also repeals a 30-day grace period for people who fail to pay or fail to appear in court for minor traffic offenses. Now, under the new measure, if you don't take care of tickets on the date assigned, the court will send a request to the Department of Revenue to suspend your license. It won't be reinstated until you come in and take care of it.
"Before, the grace period gave people an opportunity to take care of business without automatically being subject to being arrested,” added Thornhill. “Now, they will be subjected to being arrested for failing to appear on a minor traffic violation which seems arguably to have the opposite affect than what was intended but that's what we are stuck with."
Another main focus of the bill is to prevent cities from making too much money off of traffic fines. The legislation reduces the cap on the maximum amount of revenue cities can collect from traffic fines in one year from 30% down to 20%. The law was prompted by the fatal police shooting in Ferguson last summer. Residents there said using police to collect revenue through traffic fines adds to the mistrust of law enforcement.
"In Springfield the amount of revenue collected through the municipal court on all tickets, not just traffic tickets is around 1% or less of the entire city's budget so we aren't even in the realm of the 20% that Senate Bill 5 enacted.