We Need to Abolish This

The Stand team is spending the last few days of summer preparing for an upcoming hearing of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Statutory Court Fee Task Force. We plan to comment on their latest work, and I hope you’ll join us by lending your voice to this cause.

We told you earlier this year about the problem with juvenile court fees and fines, a deep economic injustice. These fees and fines vary across Illinois counties, creating a patchwork of injustice that falls especially hard on low-income youth and families. Fees can range from DNA identification ($250 per test), probation supervision (usually $50 per month), and room and board while a child is held in detention ($10 per day). They can add up in a hurry and saddle children and their families with debt, further delaying plans like college and career.

The good news is that the Supreme Court Task Force sees the injustice of these fees and fines and recommends that “legislation be enacted abolishing assessments and fines in juvenile delinquency cases.”

We wholeheartedly agree and will provide testimony in support of eliminating juvenile court fees and fines. Stand with us and voice your support for the abolition of these fees and fines!

Ultimately, juvenile fees and fines undermine community health, economic stability, and trust in our courts. That’s why numerous states and local jurisdictions – both majority Democratic and Republican – have reduced or eliminated juvenile fees and fines in recent years. We must do better for Illinois youth and their families.

Thank you for standing with Illinois children and their families against this economic injustice. We’ll be in touch again before the hearing and follow-up with additional ways to engage on this issue.

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