Impact of Juvenile Justice Fines and Fees on Family Life: Case Study in Dane County, Wisconsin

November 2019
By Leslie Paik, City College of the City University of New York, and Chiara Packard, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This report presents selected findings from a study on fines and fees in the juvenile justice system in Dane County, Wisconsin, as part of an ongoing collaborative project with the Juvenile Law Center. Drawing on interviews with 20 parents and their children conducted in July through September 2018, the report explores how parents and youth experience and perceive fines and fees. Drawing on 10 additional interviews with victims eligible for restitution for crimes committed by youth, the report also explores victims’ experiences with restitution and their views on this particular financial obligation for youth. This report focuses not only on the specific fines and fees and respective amounts that parents and youth are asked to pay, but also the impact of Legal Financial Obligations on their family life.