Juvenile Fee Abolition in California

In 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed landmark bipartisan legislation making California the first state to abolish fees in the juvenile legal system (documented in our 2017 report).

Starting January 1, 2018, Senate Bill 190 (SB 190) prohibits counties from charging fees to parents and guardians for their children’s detention, representation by counsel, electronic monitoring, probation supervision, and drug testing in the juvenile system.

In our 2019 report, we presented key findings regarding the implementation of SB 190. Some highlights, updated with numbers through July 14, 2020, include:

  • All 58 counties stopped charging new juvenile fees before January 1, 2018.
  • 43 counties have voluntarily stopped collecting juvenile fees charged to families prior to January 1, 2018, relieving families of more than $346 million.
  • 15 counties continue to collect juvenile fees charged to families prior to January 1, 2018 totaling almost $15 million.
  • Of the remaining counties, Tulare is pursuing the largest dollar amount of fees from California families, more than $11 million.

See the interactive chart below for details about juvenile fee collection in each county, including the county’s collection status, the dollar amounts relieved or still under active collection, and the associated number of accounts.

Senate Bill 1290 is pending before the California Legislature and will end all further collection and discharge all outstanding fees.

In 2018, California abolished new juvenile fees. Which counties are still collecting old fees?


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