COVID-19 Action on Juvenile Fees

COVID-19 has created an unprecedented public health and economic crisis, and families with youth in the juvenile legal system are among the most vulnerable.

In April 2020, the Policy Advocacy Clinic joined more than 130 racial, economic, and criminal justice organizations across the country and political spectrum to call for a nationwide moratorium on juvenile fees and fines. 

State and local governments must take immediate action to mitigate harm and promote the economic resiliency of youth and families to weather the crisis.

Read the moratorium statement

Read the moratorium press release

Read the moratorium op-ed

“Research has consistently found that juvenile fees and fines are a regressive and racially discriminatory tax on low-income communities and communities of color, the very same communities who are being disproportionately devastated by the health and economic impacts of this pandemic.” —Clinical Teaching Fellow Devan Shea

Specifically, we call on states, counties, and courts to:

  • Suspend assessment and collection of juvenile fees and fines.
  • Suspend all attachments, garnishments, levies, liens, redirects, and tax refund intercepts for unpaid juvenile fees and fines.
  • Suspend all interest accrual, financial penalties, and other legal system consequences for nonpayment or late payment of juvenile fees and fines, including enforcement of arrest warrants for failure to pay fines and fees.
  • Suspend and withdraw all referrals of unpaid juvenile fine and fee accounts to state taxing and collection authorities and private collection agencies.
  • Prohibit private agencies from collecting unpaid juvenile fees and fines.
  • Work to make these law and policy changes permanent.

PAC joins 100+ groups calling on Senate to pass HEROES Act provisions protecting families from juvenile fees (May 2020)

 

State Actions

California

Colorado

Louisiana

Nevada

New Jersey

Oregon

Virginia

Resources

Contact Us

For questions, suggestions, or requests for technical assistance, please contact Clinical Teaching Fellow Devan Shea.

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