Recently, the Department of Justice's Office for Access to Justice (ATJ) released "Access to Justice Spotlight: Fines & Fees." This report highlights approaches that jurisdictions are taking to presume youth indigent and eliminate juvenile fines and fees.
It expands upon the Department's Dear Colleague Letter issued in April 2023 to state and local courts and juvenile justice agencies that spelled out legal and policy considerations and policy guidance urging that jurisdictions presume youth indigent and eliminate the use of juvenile fines and fees. The new report is designed to help provide examples of how jurisdictions are working to eliminate juvenile fines and fees.
"When fines and fees are assessed against [minors], the consequences to youth and their families can be particularly acute, with the potential to push young people further into the criminal justice system, drive children and their parents into debt, and put considerable strain on familial relationships.”
— Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta
The report commemorates the second anniversary of the reestablishment of the ATJ.
- Learn more about the "Dear Colleague Letter" addressing fines and fees.
- Read summaries of the Dear Colleague Letter’s juvenile fines and fees guidance, available in eight languages:
- English: The Impact of Juvenile Fines and Fees on Youth (justice.gov)
- Arabic: تأثير الغرامات والرسوم التي تفرضها المحكمة على الشباب (justice.gov)
- Chinese (Simplified): 法庭处以的罚款和收费对青少年的影响 (justice.gov)
- Chinese (Traditional): 法庭處以的罰款和收費對青少年的影響 (justice.gov)
- Korean: 법원이부과한 벌금과 수수료가 청소년에게미치는 영향 (justice.gov)
- Spanish: El impacto de las multas y tarifas impuestas por los tribunales en los jóvenes (justice.gov)
- Tagalog: Ang Epekto ng Mga Multa at Mga Bayarin na Ipinataw ng Hukuman sa mga Kabataan (justice.gov)
- Vietnamese: Ảnh Hưởng của Mức Phạt và Lệ Phí do Tòa Án Ấn Định Dành cho Thanh Thiếu Niên (justice.gov)
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