California SB 190: Juveniles.

On January 1, 2018, California became the first state to abolish all administrative fees in juvenile delinquency cases. Previously, California gave counties the discretion to impose a variety of fees in juvenile cases, and every county in the state, except, San Francisco chose to impose some or all of the fees. SB 190 eliminates the ability of counties to assess any of the following fees for justice-involved youth:

  • Incarceration
  • Legal representation
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Probation or home supervision
  • Drug testing

However, the bill does not prohibit counties from collecting fees assessed before 2018, nor does it discharge the debt from those fees, nor does it refund families who have already paid these now-abolished fees. Some counties have gone further—for example, Contra Costa County has refunded $1.7 million in fees it had assessed to families, and Los Angeles County recently discharged nearly $90 million in fees owed by families.

You can read the full text of SB 190 here. 

In September 2020, California’s Governor signed SB 1290 into law, eliminating all juvenile fees in the state. Read the summary here.

Holly Mitchell, Ricardo Lara
SB 190