Young People Who Can't Pay Court Fees Are Getting Trapped in The Criminal Justice System

Paul McLeod, BuzzFeed news •

Often, paying these fees is a condition for being cleared from the system. If a family can’t afford the fees, the child can end up trapped in indefinite parole. More parole can mean more supervision and court fees, pushing a resolution even further away. In some scenarios, not paying the fees can even lead to incarceration, according to Jessica Feierman, senior managing director of the Pennsylvania-based Juvenile Law Center.

Because there has been little federal attention paid to the issue, “we just don’t have a really comprehensive sense of how widespread the problem is,” said Feierman, but black and Hispanic youths are believed to be disproportionately affected.

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