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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Marion County commissioners reduce 10-year-old incarceration fees for Ocala barber

Marion County Commissioners agreed to reduce 10-year-old incarceration fees for an Ocala barber who addressed them during a recent meeting.

The commission made the decision during their regular meeting on June 1 after hearing from Terrence Jones, who was incarcerated over a decade ago and indicated that he was previously unaware of the incarceration fee.

“I wasn’t aware on how long it would last, if it would accrue interest, and I also had a few different address changes,” said Jones of his fees. According to county records, the fees, which were originally assessed around $6,000, had accumulated over $3,000 in interest and totaled over $9,000.

“I haven’t had any problems in ten years. I recently purchased some land and I’m trying to build a house,” said Jones, who is part of multiple generations of barbers in his family across Marion County. He went on to explain that he was denied for a home loan because of the existing lien.

“These are very hard for us to do, because part of the money that is on there is when people spend time at the county jail. This is how we go back and recover fees,” said Marion County Commission Chairman Jeff Gold. After Jones indicated that he had family members who were also unaware of incarceration fees, Gold suggested “they probably have” them.

Commissioner Kathy Bryant indicated that Jones was trying hard to “stay on the right track” and suggested more people ought to follow suit.

“Generally, we don’t see al to of people come forward to pay anything,” said Bryant, commending Jones for coming forward and offering a portion of the incarceration fees.

Commissioners unanimously approved the decision to lower the incarceration fees to $1,000.

“Pass that on to some of the youth, too. Years down the line, when everything is good, some of these things come back to haunt you,” said Gold.