July 6, 2021, Colorado passed HB 21-1315 to eliminate a number of costs and fees charged to youth and families by juvenile justice systems across the state. The bill also discharges all outstanding juvenile fee debt and prohibits courts from assessing fees for participation by youth in court-ordered restorative justice practices. HB 21-1315 does not affect fines or restitution for victims of crime, and it is important to note that fees are abolished only in state courts, not in municipal courts.
Alianza for Youth Justice, a partner of the National Debt Free Justice Campaign, is focused on building local capacity and supporting strategies of the Brown/Latino communities in Colorado, advocating and providing technical assistance for the leadership of these communities at the forefront of the campaign, to ensure accurate implementation of the new law for directly impacted youth and their families. Alianza’s role in this partnership is to bring a focused approach to base building within the Brown/Latino community to connect those directly impacted by juvenile costs and fees with the bill sponsor, the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center, and collaborative organizational partners in the state to expand and strengthen their current strategy.