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County Raises Fees for Juvenile Stays, Health Inspections

August 18, 2004|Sue Fox | Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to raise fees charged to parents of juvenile delinquents and owners of apartment buildings, restaurants, tattoo parlors and other businesses.

The increases, which are expected to bring in about $3.2 million a year, come as the county is struggling to offset rising costs.

Parents of the 1,475 minors detained in the county's juvenile halls will now be asked to pay $24.57 a day -- almost double the previous rate -- for their children's medical care, food and clothing. Parents of the 2,100 minors in probation camps can be billed $9.65 a day, up from $8.09.

"It just so happens that some of these kids have never seen a doctor or a dentist or a mental health professional," so medical costs are particularly high, said Robert Smythe, a county probation official.

About 80% of the parents are exempt from paying for their children's incarceration because of financial hardship, he said.

The board also increased by 5% most public health license and permit fees on restaurants, tattoo parlors and other businesses to offset the cost of inspections performed by the county's Department of Health Services.

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