Debtor’s Prison for Kids? The High Cost of Fines and Fees in the Juvenile Justice System

August 2016
By Jessica Feierman, Juvenile Law Center

Across the country, youth and their families, including many in poverty, face monetary charges for a young person’s involvement in the juvenile justice system. Too often, the inability to pay pushes the young person deeper into the system and exacerbates the family’s economic distress. This report examines how and when youth and families face financial obligations, briefly looks at the economic consequences, and considers the legal consequences for failure to pay.