On July 7, the Washtenaw County Commission will consider a resolution to ask the WashCo Juvenile Courts to eliminate all discretionary and waivable juvenile court fines and fees.
Michigan juvenile courts are permitted, and in some cases required, to charge and collect a variety of fees from youth involved in delinquency proceedings, regardless of the young person’s age. Out-of-home placements, one of the many measures imposed on youth, can cost their families as much as $320 per day. These fees can devastate a family’s finances, with unpaid bills that accrue for years after the young person leaves the juvenile justice system.
Michigan juvenile court debt:
- Disproportionately impacts Black youth and families.
- Is charged inconsistently, depending on geography.
- Is collected at negligible rates from our poorest residents.
- Keeps low-income youth and families in perpetual financial crisis.
Other states have already eliminated juvenile court debt. Michigan can too!
For documentation from the Michigan Center for Youth Justice: