LANSING, Mich. June 10, 2021 – State Rep. Kara Hope (D-Holt), along with state Reps. Joe Tate (D-Detroit), Bronna Kahle (R-Adrian), Sarah Lightner (R-Springport) and Julie Calley (R-Portland), introduced a bipartisan package today that would prohibit juvenile courts in Michigan from charging and collecting fines and fees from young offenders or their families.  

In many Michigan counties, young offenders and their families face fines and fees that are inefficient and inconsistently applied. Being unable to pay these significant and burdensome fines often pushes young offenders deeper into the juvenile justice system and exacerbates the family’s economic distress — disproportionally harming families in poverty.

“Michigan has the opportunity to continue to lead in criminal justice reform,” Hope said. “The current system is not only ineffective, inefficient and unjust, but it can also do more harm than good by locking entire families into poverty for years. These bills advance the House’s goal of meaningful criminal justice reform while respecting crime victims.”

The package does not eliminate restitution to crime victims or funds to the Crime Victim Compensation Program.

House Bills 49874991 would:

  • Eliminate diversion program costs for juveniles.
  • Eliminate court costs and attorney’s fees for juveniles.
  • Eliminate fees for court-ordered DNA assessment for juveniles.
  • Eliminate late fees for juveniles.
  • Eliminate liability for fees for both juveniles and their parents.