As anyone who has been to court recently knows, you really get clobbered with court costs and fees after the judge gets done with you. Remember the story about the driver who didn't signal his turn in Woodstock in March. His $40 fine mounted up to a total of $187 by the time he walked back to his car in the parking lot!
Some of the McHenry County Court judges will warn you ahead of time not to get mad at the cashiers and not to take your anger out on them. The judges set the fines, but the State Legislature (go see Jack Franks) and the County Board (go see your elected County Board members from your District) set the costs that are really going to run up your visit to the courthouse and suck money out of your pocket that will never reach your community.
Take, for example, the line item of Court Security Fees. Who knows what really is in that category, but a good guess, for starters, might be the guards who admit you through the front and back doors of the building and maybe even the bailiffs (now called court security officers).
In the 12-month period ending November 2009, you (well, you who paid fines and court costs) parted with $903,955 for Court Security Fees.
Now that's a chunk of money. One might guess it buys those 2-3 men and women who staff the back door and the 5-6 who guard the front door and a guard in each of the courtrooms. How many are there and how much do they actually earn?
One reader wrote a while back that the head of courtroom security now pulls down $100K/year. You're kidding; right?
How much did the guilty "visitors" to the courthouse cough up in a 12-month period ending November 2009? Over $50,000,000. That's over FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS.
And that doesn't include the $10,000,000 income to the County for the immigration-wing "hotel" over in the other end of the building!