Juvenile Justice Research to Policy and the Case of Fines

This study analyzes data from more than 1,000 justice-involved youth in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in order to answer two questions: (1) how do demographics and case characteristics correlate with imposition of fines and fees, and (2) how do fines and fees correlate with recidivism rates?

Professor Piquero’s article also provides a robust overview of related juvenile criminal justice research, particularly around the rise of the adolescent developmental approach within the context of juvenile justice reform efforts.

You can read the full text here, but it is behind a paywall. You can also read related commentary via the Nevada Law Review. 

Key Findings
  • “…the likelihood of recidivism was exacerbated among: (1) youth with more total costs and restitution imposed at disposition; (2) youth with total costs and restitution owed upon case closing; and (3) youth who owed costs and/or restitution upon case closing.”
  • “When the finding that non-whites were more likely to still owe costs and restitution upon case closing is combined with the finding that non-whites evince a higher likelihood of recidivism, the collective result points to the adverse effect of (excessive) financial costs and fees on nonwhites.”
Alex R. Piquero
Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice