Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Chief Justice Addresses Harvard Law Panel on Fines, Fees, Bail

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor appeared on a panel at Harvard Law School to discuss some of her solutions to the problems of fines, fees, and bail.

“Our intent was to explain the problem to expose the issues and to assure people who are concerned about this that we are on it, we are working on this. We number one recognize it and that it has to be a change and we will find the answers and make those changes happen."

She’s the co-chair of the National Task Force on Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices.

In recent years, important questions have arisen concerning the way courts manage people awaiting trial.

You see, courts are not revenue centers but there’s a constant temptation to view them as such.

The issue is a bit more complex because funding is determined on a local level.

The Chief’s Harvard visit comes on the heels of a live forum, Cleveland Connects: Justice for all, to address the issue.

“Just because that’s the way we’ve always done it, it’s not necessarily the way we should continue.” Judge Ronald Adrine of Cleveland’s Municipal Court told the crowd.