Building Healthier Communities by Eliminating Juvenile Hall Fees
Juvenile Hall fees, which fine youth for every day of their incarceration, can saddle San Mateo County families with thousands of dollars in debt. These fines, like traffic fees, undermine low income households’ financial security, which is an important ingredient for health. To address this, Supervisors Canepa and Pine, in partnership with Probation Chief John Keene and Revenue Services and responding to recommendations from the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission, sponsored legislation that ends collection and forgives $12.6 million in juvenile administrative and defense fees. In passing this resolution, the Board of Supervisors helped over 6,000 families improve their financial and physical health. San Francisco’s Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector is tackling the issue by convening a Fines and Fees Task Force of stakeholders throughout the county’s government to identify “high pain/low gain” penalties that create the greatest harm to resident financial health and generate the least amount of revenue.