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Has Your Family Paid Fees or Fines to a Juvenile Justice System?

Has your family faced financial hardship as a result of a delinquency case? We’d like to hear from you.

Lisa Larson-Walker/ProPublica

Our team is no longer actively reporting on this issue. Thanks to all who participated. Read our stories on the topic and contact reporter Jodi Cohen with new information.

The bills pile up for young people in the criminal justice system. Many families can’t afford the fines and fees, which can total thousands of dollars.

People have told us about being charged for court-appointed attorneys. Electronic monitoring. Psychological evaluations and counseling. And when a young person is sent to detention, courts can charge their families hundreds of dollars per day to stay there, on top of the cost of medical and dental care and other fees.

Now, we want to follow up on as many of these stories as possible to better understand how these costs affect families. The more examples we collect, the stronger our reporting will be. Has your family faced financial hardship as a result of these fees? Has your credit or ability to provide been affected? Tell us about your experience by answering the questions below. We are particularly interested in Michigan and the Midwest, but we welcome stories from other states as well.

We are the only ones reading what you submit, and we take your privacy seriously. We are gathering these stories for the purposes of our reporting, and we will contact you if we wish to publish any part of your story. Send questions to [email protected].

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