Study: Juvenile justice in Arizona suffers from uneven legal representation, high fees

Although legal representation is supposed to be free for indigent families, "nothing in juvenile court is free — not the attorney, probation, shelter care, detention, treatment or other ordered services," according to the report.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Mary Jo Pitzl
Arizona Republic
September 25, 2018

Tags: Children & Juvenile, Civil Right to Counsel

Organizations mentioned/involved: National Juvenile Defender Center (DC)


Additionally, fees harm low-income families and extend a child’s involvement with the juvenile justice system.

“One of the most troubling findings … is the overwhelming number of fees and costs levied against youth and families,” National Juvenile Defender Center executive director, Mary Ann Scali said in a statement.

“Children and families are charged for every aspect of the court system, from being held in detention to probation treatment and services. Troublingly, children are charged fees to access lawyers who are supposed to be provided for free. These financial burdens have real, lasting, negative impacts: they drive youth deeper into the court system and mire them in debt that hinders their ability to successfully continue their education and find employment.”