Reduction of Court Costs for Juveniles Unanimously Approved

3/21/2022 2:11:00 PM

Contact: Rep. John Talley
Phone: (405) 557-7304

Legislation to significantly reduce court costs assessed to children in Oklahoma's juvenile justice system is one step closer to becoming law.

House Bill 3205, authored by Rep. John Talley, R-Stillwater, lowers court costs, including counsel fees, diversion fees, and probation or supervision fees, that are assessed to children in Oklahoma's juvenile justice system.

Talley said families of justice-involved youth can face significant financial court costs, which can have an outsized impact on low-income families.

"The strain of these costs can be overwhelming for already financially-stressed families," Talley said. "In many cases, the juvenile offenders themselves aren't the ones who end up paying the fees, but instead the burden falls on their parents. As a result, the siblings of the juvenile offender suffer due to their sibling's choices. I am so grateful that this bill passed the House unanimously and with bipartisan support, and I look forward to seeing its progress in the Senate."

Talley has been visiting prisons for decades and said he understands how much of a burden court fees can be to people trying to turn their lives around.

The bill does not eliminate or reduce restitution to compensate victims, nor does it reduce the criminal penalties for any offenses.

HB3205 passed the House 91-0 and may now be considered in the Senate, where it is authored by Sen. Jessica Garvin, R-Duncan.