Illinois Community Toolkit Landing Page
Juvenile courts in Illinois collect thousands of dollars from youth and their families through fees and fines imposed by counties. At every point in the juvenile court system, a young person and their parents can be charged fees or costs for services and treatment, such as electronic ankle monitoring, detention, probation supervision, and public defender services. By charging fees and fines, the juvenile justice system undermines community health, economic stability, and trust in public systems.
Research shows that juvenile fees and fines perpetuate cycles of poverty and undermine the financial and emotional well-being of youth and their families. They disproportionately harm Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and low-income families and net little or no revenue for the government entities that assess and collect them. Recognizing this, Illinois Senate Bill 3621 (SB 3621) seeks to prohibit courts, state agencies, and local government entities from assessing fees and fines in the juvenile court system and requires the discharge of all outstanding debt. All unpaid juvenile fees and fines would be considered null, void, and satisfied as a result of this bill. SB 3621 does NOT eliminate the assessment or collection of victims’ restitution.