It is the ultimate user fee. On Jan. 1, the state started collecting a $25 monthly fee from individuals placed on court probation and $40 a month from newly paroled prison inmates. Those in a position to pay are indeed supporting the bureaucracy charged with policing their activities.
It is only fitting that these fees be imposed. After all, parolees and probationers are the only ones who ever utilize the services of this state agency, which has a taxpayer-supported budget of $38 million. The new fees could eventually generate more than $3 million, offsetting a portion of the costs. And it makes some of those people on parole and probation take responsibility for their actions.