Clerk’s Program Honored With National Award

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 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,” Bock said. “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.

The clerk’s office accepted the award at the 2018 National Association of Counties Annual Conference & Exposition held July 13-16 in Tennessee.