Oklahoma County to implement community service fee option

Starting Thursday, convicted felons in Oklahoma County District Court will pay into a revolving fund to support the cleanup of graffiti, overgrowth and trash from public property.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Modified: August 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm •  Published: August 15, 2012

Felony offenders in Oklahoma County will begin paying a new community service fee starting Thursday.

The county's board of commissioners voted Wednesday to approve a funding mechanism for a program that puts local offenders to work cleaning graffiti, overgrowth and trash from public property.

The SHINE program, which stands for Start Helping Impacted Neighborhoods Everywhere, was interrupted last year after it was determined county highway funds could not legally be used to support it.

Oklahoma County District 2 Commissioner Brian Maughan said new legislation passed this spring allows for the program to be funded instead through the courts' penalties and assessment procedures. It can also now be adopted by counties statewide.

“You know everybody thought it was a good program, there was just a lot of debate about how it was going to be paid for,” Maughan said on Wednesday. “I think we've found consensus now that this is a good way and a sustainable way.”

The fee will range from $25 to $250, depending on the judge's discretion. It will be assessed by district court judges initially, but municipal courts may also participate.

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