Pay the fine or do the time. That's been the philosophy behind the Collin County Restitution Center.
Here probationers delinquent on court-ordered fees and fines spend nights and weekends in jail until they make regular payments. Currently only four offenders remain in the program, one of only a handful left in the state.
And soon, after a decade in operation, Collin County's will close as well. Officials believe they can collect just as much money from probationers without the expense of keeping them overnight.
"We're going to try this and see if it's more effective ... and saves a little bit of money for the county," state District Judge Chris Oldner said.
In closing the center, situated inside the county's minimum-security jail, Collin is following a statewide trend. Like boot camps, restitution centers gained popularity two decades ago but are now widely rejected as ineffective, officials say.
Dallas County opened its restitution center in 1985 and closed it in 2004, officials there said. Tarrant County operated a restitution center from 1983 to 2001.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Collin 'restitution center' closing as failed experment
Following a statewide trend toward getting rid of them, Collin County's probation department will soon close its in-house "restitution center," reports the Dallas News. Here's how the story opens: