SB 817 No More Fines on Court Bailouts for Juveniles

Signed into Law by Gov Brown on 07-19-21
Status (overview) of bill:

This bill eliminates fines, fees, and court costs associated with juvenile delinquency matters, and provides for appointment of counsel at taxpayer expense in all juvenile delinquency matters. Additionally, this measure makes certain court records available at no cost to parties.

Personal Choice and Responsibility
No study or data has shown that reducing punishments imposed by the courts, produces lower recidivism or crime rates. How can we teach young people responsibility when the state (taxpayers) bails them out.

Fiscal Responsibility
Anticipates $801,378 General Fund to replace lost revenue for 18 months of the 2021-23 biennium; this amount would grow to $1,068,504 in the 2023-25 biennium. Additional analysis of the revenue impact of the measure on OYA in the 2021-23 biennium will be needed to make appropriate budget adjustments in the 2023-25 biennium.

Limited Government
Currently, Oregon law allows for youth offenders and their families to be assessed for costs throughout the juvenile court system process. Some examples of what youth offenders and their families may be charged for include: administrative costs of determining eligibility for legal and other services related to the provision of appointed counsel, a blood or buccal sample, mental health assessment or screenings, medical care, education services, supervision, and child support. Although not applied uniformly throughout the state, a youth offender and their family may be sanctioned for failing to pay court-related costs. Those sanctions may include extended supervision, late fees, collections, and tax liens. Senate Bill 817A would retroactively and proactively eliminate fees, fines, and court costs associated with juvenile delinquency matters and provide for court-appointed counsel at state expense for all juvenile delinquency matters. Expands no-cost access to transcripts, recordings of proceedings to not only the victim but also the child, ward, youth, youth offender or young person (or guardian of those persons). States that if a young person is committed to the Oregon State Hospital, the person’s ability to pay and cost of care will be determined under the ability to pay rules, and that services and treatment may be paid for by the youth and family through private insurance or other private means. Requires a person 18 years of age or older to pay court fees and fines related to underage possession of alcohol.

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