Dear California Legislator:
California law currently allows counties to charge administrative fees to families with youth in the juvenile system. These juvenile administrative fees can quickly add up to thousands of dollars for a family and can throw struggling families further into poverty and threaten their ability to care for other children in the family.
Juvenile administrative fee practices in California-are harmful to youth and families-and undermine the rehabilitative purpose of the juvenile system. In addition, fee practices are sometimes unlawful, as counties charge fees that violate state or federal law and/or fail to conduct an ability to pay process that meets legal requirements. Finally, the fee system is costly. Because most families cannot afford to pay the fees, counties collect a small percentage of what they charge, most of which pays for collection activity and not to support youth.
The time is now to shift away from fees that provide unnecessary hardship and undermine the stated goals of the juvenile justice and probation system! I urge you to support CA Senate Bill 190 and STOP the cycle of poverty and criminalization of families with juvenile fees.
Senate bill SB 190 (Mitchell/Lara) would end the assessment of administrative fees against families with youth in the juvenile system. By doing so, it will eliminate a source of financial harm to some of the state’s most vulnerable families, support the reentry of youth back into their homes and communities, and reduce the likelihood that youth will recidivate.
Please support our most vulnerable families and support CA Senate Bill SB190 without further delay.