- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker wants to let criminal defendants who fail to pay fines or fees perform community service instead of going to jail.

The Republican is pushing a bill to allow the community service option. Baker says that will help create a fairer system where punishments fit better with crimes.

Under current law, defendants who fail to pay fines, fees and assessments can be incarcerated until the debt is satisfied, at a rate of $30 a day.

The bill filed Tuesday will help defendants avoid jail by agreeing to community service.

If a person still ends up behind bars for failing to pay, the bill triples the daily rate from $30 to $90, reducing the amount of time the individual would need to spend incarcerated to clear the debt.

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