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Juveniled Justice System Structure & Process
Organization & Administration of Delinquency Services
Q: Are parents or guardians required to financially support the institutionalization of their delinquent children?
A: In 27 states, it is mandatory for the court to require a parent or guardian to pay at least part of the costs of confinement for their institutionalized delinquent children.

Liability of parents of delinquent minor for costs of confinement, 2011

State Mandatory Discretionary

Number of states 27 24

Alabama X
Alaska X
Arizona X

Arkansas X
California X
Colorado X

Connecticut X
Delaware X
District of Columbia X

Florida X
Georgia X
Hawaii X

Idaho X
Illinois X
Indiana X

Iowa X
Kansas X
Kentucky X

Louisiana X
Maine X
Maryland X

Massachusetts X
Michigan X
Minnesota X

Mississippi X
Missouri X
Montana X

Nebraska X
Nevada X
New Hampshire X

New Jersey X
New Mexico X
New York X

North Carolina X
North Dakota X
Ohio X

Oklahoma X
Oregon X
Pennsylvania X

Rhode Island X
South Carolina X
South Dakota X

Tennessee X
Texas X
Utah X

Vermont X
Virginia X
Washington X

West Virginia X
Wisconsin X
Wyoming X

  • In 23 states and the District of Columbia, it is at the discretion of the judge whether the parents or guardians are expected to contribute to the cost of confinement.
  • Even when a payment is mandatory, the amount is generally based on the parent's financial ability to make such payments, which is usually determined at a hearing.
  • In evaluating an obligated party's ability to pay, the court takes into consideration the family's income, the necessary obligation of the family, and the number of people dependent on the income.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/qa04206.asp?qaDate=2011. Released on August 05, 2013.

Developed for the State Training and Technical Assistance Center by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ), with funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The following NCJJ staff contributed to this state profile: Sean Addie, Teri Deal, Anne Fromknecht, Hunter Hurst, Anne Rackow, Crystal Robson, Linda Szymanski, Lauren Vessels, and Andrew Wachter.

 

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