Public Comment Period Opens to Determine Costs and Fees Charged by Counties to Juvenile Detainees and Families
Virtual Stakeholder Input Session set for 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
Sacramento (July 12, 2021) – The BSCC is requesting broad input from stakeholders and interested parties about costs and fees currently imposed on youth and their families related to the youths’ confinement in county detention facilities. The comments received will inform the development of a survey on costs and fees that are imposed related to youth detention. The survey will be distributed to county facility operators, youth and families, and perhaps others too.
On January 1, 2021, Senate Bill 1290 (Chapter 340, Statutes of 2020) became effective and vacated certain county-assessed or court-ordered costs that had been charged before January 1, 2018. It included those levied on parents or guardians of system-involved youth, minors who were ordered to participate in drug- and substance-abuse testing, and adults who were 21 years of age and under at the time of their home detention.
Existing BSCC regulations do not prescribe how fees or costs may be imposed on youth and families. Juvenile facilities are required to have written policies and procedures to allow youth to access telephones. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 15, § 1376.) In addition, facilities are required to have written procedures to ensure youth have access to the courts and legal services, including free postage and cost-free telephone access as appropriate. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 15, § 1377.)
In response to a request from Senator María Elena Durazo, author of SB 1290, expressing concern that counties continue to impose fees for “phone calls, visitor parking, and other items,” the BSCC will survey counties to determine the extent to which costs and fees are imposed on detained youth and their families by facilities subject to BSCC regulations. This public comment period will solicit comments to inform the development of the survey. More information about the survey can be found here https://www.bscc.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/Agenda-Item-D-Juvenile-Justice-Fees-Survey-4-1-2021-FINAL.pdf.
Information collected from counties through the survey will be compiled and provided to Senator Durazo. Additionally, the information might provide further direction for the Board for the development of additional regulations or it might be used to inform the Legislature as to whether additional legislation is warranted. To receive the survey, please sign up here http://www.bscc.ca.gov/s_bsccmailchimplisterserv.
We request that people submitting comments focus on the costs and fees imposed by the counties on youth who are detained and their families. The costs and fees described should be connected to the detention of the youth in county juvenile detention facilities.
Here are some areas for which you might consider providing input:
- Phone costs or family video costs – are there obstructive rules or costs imposed on youth or parents regarding family communication during periods of detention?
- Commissary fees and costs – are there incidents of overcharging for personal or convenience items or any fees affecting access to a commissary? Are youth or families charged for things the facility should provide? Do families have to purchase vending products due to restrictions on bringing their own food? Are commissary prices fair? Please cite specific examples if you can.
- Parking – are there complaints about parking costs and parking tickets issued when there are unanticipated, facility-based delays in visitation or appointments? Are there other transportation-related costs that, such as insufficient public transportation, that affect visitation?
- Computer and internet access – any info regarding whether counties are imposing barriers or costs on youth access to computers and internet?
- Fees for services – While SB 190 (Mitchell, 2018) banned pass-through county costs of support and care formerly imposed on parents and youth in detention, are you aware of any fees still assessed for services provided to detained youth that we should be aware of? Specifically, are there instances in which medical or health care costs related to detention are passed through to youth or families?
- Other – any other instance or practice of costs or fees that work to the disadvantage of youth or families in county juvenile facilities.
Zoom Stakeholder Input Session:
Tuesday, July 27. The Listening Session will begin at 4:00 pm, and will conclude after all public comments have been made.
Meeting ID: 871 3791 1177
Join online here: July 27, 2021 Stakeholder Input Session
Join by phone:
669 900 9128 (San Jose)
346 248 7799 (Houston)
253 215 8782 (Tacoma)
646 558 8656 (New York)
301 715 8592 (Washington DC)
312 626 6799 (Chicago)