Senator John J. Flanagan (R,C-East Northport) today passed legislation giving county governments the right to impose supervisory, electronic monitoring and drug testing fees upon probationers. The legislation will save Suffolk County taxpayers over $500,000.
Several counties across the state, including Suffolk County, have already passed local laws imposing a wide variety of such fees, but due to a recent Attorney General’s opinion, statewide legislation was needed to collect the fees.
"This is common-sense legislation. If you are sentenced to probation and you can afford it, you should pay your own way," said Senator Flanagan. "Counties across New York State, especially during these difficult fiscal times, should have the ability to collect fees for the costs of supervising these probationers rather than relying solely on taxpayers."
"This legislation will save millions of dollars for law-abiding citizens throughout New York," Flanagan said. "These costs have escalated sharply in recent years and state reimbursement and dedicated local funds are not enough to meet the demands placed on local probation departments. The costs associated with probation enforcement are often high, placing an undue strain on local taxpayers."
"The expansion of probation fees has become necessary as the scope of probation services expands and new technologies for tracking and monitoring the activities of probationers arise," said Flanagan, noting that probation departments incur great expenses meeting with probationers at home or work, often traveling great distances for such meetings.
Flanagan noted that current law already provides for the imposition of probation fees upon persons convicted of Driving While Intoxicated.