Report Finds US Engaging in Debtor’s Prison for Kids

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FEATURING JESSICA FEIERMAN – A ground-breaking new report has found that nationwide children are facing incarceration and delayed release over the inability of their families to pay court costs, amounting to an effective “debtors’ prison for kids.” Researchers found that in across 50 states and Washington DC the use of fines and court costs for kids entering the juvenile justice system is widespread. And that these “financial penalties increase recidivism, push impoverished young people deeper into the juvenile justice system, exacerbate racial disparities in the juvenile justice system, and heighten economic and emotional distress for families already struggling financially.”

The report, released by the Juvenile Law Center is called, “Debtors’ Prison for Kids? The High Cost of Fines and Fees in the Juvenile Justice System”

Read the report at www.jlc.org.

Jessica Feierman, Associate Director of the Juvenile Law Center.