CARRBORO, N.C. – Residents needing assistance with fees and costs imposed due to criminal justice or traffic court involvement are now able to apply for relief through the Criminal Justice Debt Program.
The Carrboro Town Council voted on April 27, 2021, to officially join the program established in 2020 by the Town of Chapel Hill. The Town of Carrboro is providing $7,500 for participation through the end of the fiscal year with future appropriations to be determined through the annual budget process.
The Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro Criminal Justice Debt Program provides criminal justice-related debt relief to community members who are taking steps to successfully reintegrate into the community but whose ability to do so is hampered by debt from court fees and costs.
The Carrboro Town Council affirmed its belief that it is important for local jurisdictions to address racial equity issues for members of the community seeking to reintegrate into the community. Court fees and costs have a disparate impact on the poor; and these costs and fees create barriers to community members seeking to reintegrate into the community; and African-Americans are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system due to historic and structural racism, making this is a racial equity issue.
Applications to the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro Criminal Justice Debt Program
The Criminal Justice Debt Program provides debt relief to low-income community members living in Orange County who have outstanding court debt. Relief is considered for post-conviction court fees and costs, deferred prosecution court fees and costs, and license restoration fees. Fines and restitution payments imposed as part of sentencing are not eligible for the fund. Program applications are available online: https://form.jotform.com/201253950662048
**Paper applications are also available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Burmese and Karen.
In order to be considered eligible for relief, applicants:
- Must live within Orange County, North Carolina
- Must meet court indigency standards
- Cannot be currently incarcerated
- Must have outstanding criminal justice or traffic fees or costs
- Must demonstrate that he or she is on the road to stability
- Must have already pursued other avenues for debt relief (e.g., driver’s license restoration program)
- Must demonstrate that assistance will have an immediate impact on his or her stability or successful reentry into the community
For more information
If you have any questions about the application or program requirements, please contact the Chapel Hill Police Crisis Unit Supervisor, Megan Johnson, at 919-968-2806 or Savannah Allred with Carrboro Police Department at 919-918-7397.
Share the information flyer at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/9073/Flyer-Criminal-Justice-Debt-Relief