WEST PALM BEACH — Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller Sharon R. Bock’s groundbreaking program to help offenders meet their court-ordered financial obligations has earned the 2018 National Association of Counties Achievement Award for Criminal Justice and Public Safety. The award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
The clerk’s Court Compliance Program enables defendants to satisfy court requirements through flexible payment options, negotiation of criminal judgments, amnesty programs and warrant dismissals. Since the inception of the program four years ago, driver’s license suspensions for failure to pay felony and misdemeanor fines have dropped 79 percent, while suspensions from traffic violations have fallen 24 percent in Palm Beach County.
“This program gives offenders the ability to pay their debt to society and move forward,” said Ms. Bock. “Our goal is keeping residents working, driving and continuing with their lives.”
Not paying court-ordered costs may result in driver’s license suspension, late fees, a 40 percent collection agency surcharge, additional criminal charges, civil liens and even jail time. According to an analysis of Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles data, failure to pay fines and fees accounted for 77 percent of all license suspensions in Florida between 2012 and 2015.
The clerk’s office accepted the award at the 2018 National Association of Counties Annual Conference and Exposition July 13-16 in Nashville/Davidson County, Tenn.
For information about the clerk’s payment plans and other services, visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com or call 561-355-2996.