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This morning on KPFA’s Upfront with host Cat Brooks, CJCJ’s Maureen Washburn discusses several pieces of important juvenile justice reform legislation that will decrease the negative impacts of justice-involvement on youth and there families. 

The specific legislation discussed include a package of bills from California Senators Holly Mitchell and Ricardo Lara aimed at reducing justice system involvement for youth and reducing inequities in juvenile and criminal justice practices. CJCJ is co-sponsoring two bills in this package, Senate Bills 190 and 439. SB 190 will end the harmful assessment and collection of fees charged to families for a youth’s involvement in the juvenile justice system, and SB 439 will establish a minimum age of juvenile delinquency court jurisdiction. 

On Senate Bill 190:

[Fee costs] range quite a bit from county to county and really contributes to what we have in California, which is 58 different justice systems and stark justice-by-geography. You’ll have fees of maybe of $11 a day in Imperial County, and that same juvenile hall fee would be $40 a day in San Luis Obispo… It’s the kind fo situation where, if youre a family living paycheck to paycheck and you’re hit with this fee and the associated collections, it severely hinders your ability to pay for daily needs.

In Orange County, in 2014 – 15, they opted to spend $1.7 million just on staffing and other administrative functions related to collections, and in the end, only collected $2 million. So they’re essentially spending 80 percent of that fee collection revenue on getting the fees, which really calls into the question whether the fees are necessary for the fiscal sustainability of the counties.” 

- Maureen Washburn

Listen to the full interview: 

Related Links:

CJCJ Co-sponsors Legislation to Reform the Juvenile Justice System

Sentencing Reform in California

The Plummeting Arrest Rates of California’s Children