In addition, $26 million in court administrative fees that haven't been collected will be waived.
The new policy would take effect in January.
Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods, the East Bay Community Law Center, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and other groups told the board that the fees should be eliminated because they create a long-term financial burden for low-income people who already served time for their crimes but then have problems turning their lives around.
They said that's because the debts cause such people to have problems getting credit, housing and jobs.
Currently, Alameda County charges defendants probation supervision fees of between $30 to $90 per month, pre-charge investigation report fees of between $250 and $710 and $150 or more for representation by the Public Defender's Office.
Advocates for eliminating the fees said the average adult on probation in Alameda County spends five years under supervision and can face more than $6,000 in fees.
Noe Gudino, a junior at California State University East Bay who is a member of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, All of Us or None and other groups said the fees made it harder for him to get his life back on track after he was incarcerated because when he got a job his wages were garnished.
Julia Root of the Center for Employment Opportunities told the board that the fees cause "undue emotional and financial stress" for incarcerated people and their families and said she has a family member who could face up to $10,000 in fees when he's released in the near future.
The ordinance endorsed by the board says the fees "can have long-term effects that can undermine successful societal re-entry goals of the formerly-incarcerated, such as attaining stable housing, transportation and employment."
Woods said after the meeting that the fees "are a tremendous burden to people who are trying to get back on their feet" after serving time.
He said eliminating the fees "is the right thing to do."
County Administrator Susan Muranishi told the board that eliminating the fees means the county will lose about $1.45 million in revenue annually but said the county will explore other funding opportunities to replace that revenue.
In other news
The town of Danville has been presented with a wrongful-death claim by the family of Laudemer Arboleda, who was killed by a Danville police officer at the end of a short pursuit earlier this month.
The claim -- which typically precedes a lawsuit pending the town's rejection -- was submitted by the Law Offices of John L. Burris on Nov. 16 and claimed that police followed the 33-year-old Newark man without justification and fired upon him unnecessarily as he attempted to slowly drive past officers.
It was filed with the town Nov. 16 on behalf of Arboleda's mother Jeannie Atienza, and seeks damages in excess of $25,000, due to breach of duty by police, negligence, emotional distress and wrongful death.
"We believe that Arboleda had not committed any crimes. Our understanding is police were called out because he looked suspicious. Once again he was not wanted for anything, he had no outstanding warrants, he had not committed any crimes and officers had no information that he had engaged in any criminal activity," said Adante Pointer, an attorney at the Burris firm.
Arboleda died on the morning of Nov. 3 after a run-in with police in downtown Danville at the intersection of Front Street and Diablo Road.
Police say on that day they received a call from a resident reporting that a stranger -- later identified as Arboleda -- was walking around the neighborhood near downtown with bags in hand and acting suspicious.
Police arrived on scene and a short pursuit ensued, ending with Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office Deputy Andrew Hall firing multiple shots into Arboleda's vehicle when he allegedly attempted to run down officers, according to investigators. The town of Danville contracts with the sheriff's office for police services.
The family's attorneys also allege that Arboleda's skin color -- he was of Filipino descent -- may have factored into Hall's decision to use lethal force.
"The officer, based upon physical evidence was not in the direct line of the car and had the ability to step out of the way, chose to use deadly force on a person he had no information had done anything," Pointer said. "We don't think that the officer would use the same amount of force if the person was not brown or black."
The claim itself also highlighted the practice of allowing police to fire upon moving vehicles, a practice that is not used by many police agencies due to the heightened risk of collateral damage, the attorneys argue.
The sheriff's office was quick to maintain its position that Arboleda was driving recklessly and presenting a danger to police.
"This is a tragic case, yet once again John Burris is reaching for his well-worn race card. This is not about race. This is about a dangerous and reckless person trying to run down and murder a police officer. Once all investigations are completed, we look forward to sharing the full details with the public," Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston said in a statement on Nov. 19.
Town officials deferred comment about the claim to the sheriff's office.
Arboleda's death was Danville police's first officer-involved shooting since August 2001.
This story contains 950 words.
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