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File #: 161029    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: IN COMMITTEE
File created: 11/17/2016 In control: Committee on Legislative Oversight
On agenda: Final action:
Title: Authorizing Council's Legislative Oversight Committee and Committee on Public Safety to hold hearings examining costs, fees, and penalties incurred by individuals in the juvenile justice system and the impact thereof on families in the City of Philadelphia.
Sponsors: Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Taubenberger, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Greenlee, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Blackwell, Council President Clarke
Attachments: 1. Signature16102900.pdf
Title
Authorizing Council's Legislative Oversight Committee and Committee on Public Safety to hold hearings examining costs, fees, and penalties incurred by individuals in the juvenile justice system and the impact thereof on families in the City of Philadelphia.

Body
WHEREAS, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, like most jurisdictions in the United States, authorizes the imposition of court costs, fines, and fees related to placement and treatment within the juvenile justice system. The City of Philadelphia's Department of Human Services (DHS) has opted to pursue several of these revenue collection schemes, including those aimed at recouping the cost of juvenile placement and treatment; and

WHEREAS, The Department of Justice, in a report released in March 2016 which examines similar cost recovery programs within the adult criminal justice system, found that "individuals may confront escalating debt; face repeated, unnecessary incarceration for nonpayment despite posing no danger to the community; lose their jobs; and become trapped in cycles of poverty that are nearly impossible to escape"; and,

WHEREAS, A recent study commissioned by the Juvenile Law Center, and conducted by criminologists Alex Piquero and Wesley Jennings, examined the effects of these penalties and fees on individuals in the juvenile justice system within Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The results show an increase in the likelihood of recidivism as a result of these economic burdens and suggested that these policies may contribute to racial disparities in the juvenile justice system. In total, it was found that 94% of youth within the sample owed costs, fines, fees, or restitution; and

WHEREAS, Fines and fees pursuant to judgments within the juvenile justice system place an inordinate burden on low-income families and families of color. In a nationwide study of these fee schemes, the Juvenile Law Center found that youth in a majority of states incurred a variety of sanctions and ...

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