The Price of Justice analyzes statutes in all 50 states regarding the cost of court-appointed counsel, including fees for public defenders. In most states, youth or their families must pay for legal assistance even if they are determined to be indigent. Charging families—especially those living in poverty—for “free” attorneys leads to devastating consequences.
The Youth Empowerment Card would ideally be available in family court and would be distributed at places youth in foster care frequent, such as court or service providers’ offices. This card summarizes important rights in court and includes tips to empower youth to speak up in court. The tips were based off youth advocates’ own experiences in court.
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