Did you know that when kids enter Oregon’s Youth Justice System they’re charged for things like paying for their own mental health evaluation, counseling and education services, even their own probation supervision? These aren’t fines imposed for punishment, they’re administrative fees that start adding up the second a child enters Oregon’s justice system.
Families and youth are often unable to afford the fees, and the result is little government revenue, but a stifling burden on youth that keeps them in the criminal justice system and unable to move on to a successful life. These fees put massive burdens on families well into adulthood and disproportionately affect Black and Native families whose children are 3x more likely than white children to be committed to the Oregon Youth Authority.
Senate Bill 817 stops these regressive and racially discriminatory administrative fees from being imposed on Oregon youth. Oregonians deserve a racially just and equitable system that serves us all. We’re proud to stand with Youth, Rights, & Justice on this important issue as we work to build systems that allow children and families to thrive.