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Justice Department Publishes Report on Reducing Fines and Fees

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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. 

Read Report


Date Published: December 21, 2023