Briefing on The Price of Justice: The High Cost of "Free" Counsel for Youth

close up of hand holding dollar bill

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and Juvenile Law Center are pleased to invite you to attend a briefing on The Price of Justice: The High Cost of “Free” Counsel for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System. This groundbreaking report, published over the summer by Juvenile Law Center, details the egregious costs connected to counsel for youth across the United States. The report finds that in 40 out of 50 states, young people can be charged for public defenders or other appointed counsel, even if they and their families have been determined indigent.

The right to an attorney is constitutionally protected; statutes allowing for juvenile cost of counsel fees run counter to the core principles on which our justice system is based. In this briefing, we will delve into the report findings, examine the impact of counsel fees on the provision of juvenile defense, connect the issue to national advocacy efforts for racial and economic justice, and discuss strategies for reform.

Panelists include:

  • Welcome message by Juliene James, The Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Lisa Foster, Fines and Fees Justice Center (Moderator)
  • Jessica Feierman, Juvenile Law Center, Report co-author
  • Nadia Mozaffar, Juvenile Law Center, Report co-author
  • Tim Curry, National Juvenile Defenders Center
  • Clarise McCants, Color of Change
  • Erin Logan, Baltimore Media Group, Reporter
  • Q & A 

This event is also co-sponsored by the American Bar Association Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice.