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Report: California’s Juvenile Detention Fees Hurt Families

Report: California’s Juvenile Detention Fees Hurt Families


Stephanie Campos-Bui, clinical supervising attorney, UC Berkeley School of Law Policy Advocacy Clinic


The arrest of a child could be a devastating experience for families. But for families struggling to make ends meet, it could also lead them to rack up debt.

A report by UC Berkeley School of Law Policy Advocacy Clinic looks at the cost associated with juvenile detentions in California.

In San Diego, the county charges families $30 for every day a minor is locked up in juvenile detention. It also charges $28 for every day a minor has to wear an electronic monitoring device. The average stay costs almost $1,000, according to the report.

“State law says the fees are meant to protect the fiscal integrity of counties. But in doing that we’ve seen that come at the expense of economic and social harm to many families and particularly communities of color,” said Stephanie Campos-Bui, a clinical supervising attorney at UC Berkeley School of Law Policy Advocacy Clinic and co-author of the report, "Making Families Pay."

Juvenile justice policy advocates also say the fees undermine rehabilitation efforts. Some counties have eliminated the fees and a bill is working it's way through the state legislature to get rid of the fees.

Campos-Bui discusses the impacts of juvenile detention fees Wednesday on Midday Edition.


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