Exploring Fines and Fees in the Youth Criminal Justice System

Mary Madsen |

In Pennsylvania, children are subject to the imposition of fines, fees, and restitution, just as adults involved in the criminal justice system are. Juveniles “are required to pay fines and Court costs and may be required to pay restitution,” according to a judge’s determination (see Figure 1). While the legislature and the Superior Court have affirmed that assessing fines and fees that a child has no ability to pay is contrary to the rehabilitative goal of juvenile court and should be avoided, Court Rules do not currently reflect such findings.

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