Your Kid Goes to Jail, You Get the Bill – The Marshall Project

When a child is sent to a juvenile facility, parents are not only faced with the fear of what their child is going to endure, but they may also be faced with paying for it financially. Parents can be billed for their children’s stay in jails, detention centers, court-ordered treatment facilities, training schools, and/or disciplinary camps. Parents may also receive a bill when charges are dropped or even if the court finds their child not guilty. Bills can pile up, collection agencies may begin calling, and wages may be garnished from parents’ paychecks in order to pay back the debt. The additional stress placed on parents has recently been highlighted by parents who spoke up, The Marshall Project, and a team of lawyers and law students in Philadelphia who decided it was time for reform. Read more.

Just one day after The Marshall Project published the above article, the City of Philadelphia decided that it would stop billing parents for their children’s incarceration, effective immediately. Read more in this follow-up article.

Several day laters, this issue was also featured on NBC Nightly News. The report can be viewed below: