Extended Injustice: Court Fines and Fees for Young People are Counterproductive, Particularly Harm Black Young People, Families, and Communities


In 2018 and 2019, the Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts imposed just $24,600 in fines, compared to $757,600 in fees and costs.

Black youths in Virginia are often swept into the youth criminal legal system by schools that fail to provide them with school-based support. Once in the system, Black youths and their families are assessed fines and fees that result in significant financial hardships. This report details the challenges Black youths and their families face and highlight reforms implemented to alleviate the counterproductive impact of fines and fees.

You can read the full text here.  

Key Findings:

  • Black youths are 49 percent of young people reported to juvenile courts by school authorities, and 42 percent of young people reported to juvenile intake officers.
  • Law enforcement officers refer Black youths to the juvenile system 2.6 times more than White youths.
  • Black youth make up 21 percent of Virginia teens aged 15 to 17 but account for 54 percent of youth detained in local youth jails and 72 percent of youth held in Department of Juvenile Justice custody.  
Briana Jones & Laura Goren
The Commonwealth Institute