At age 15, Jason swiped someone's cellphone while he was riding on the bus. He's one of five children of a single mom. She is a pre-school teacher and has always taken pride in being able to support her family with her income.
Jason's mom was assigned a public defender to handle her son's case.
Jason spent a month in juvenile hall. Afterwards he was fitted with a GPS ankle monitor for 120 days. The monitor allows a probation officer to track Jason's movements and make sure he doesn't go outside pre-approved places like home and school. After GPS, Jason continued on informal probation.
If Jason stole an iPhone 5S, he'd be on the hook for $649.
Jason's mom says: "How will it affect me? The money? It's going to affect a lot. I can't pay the fee, so it's going to go on my credit. So when stuff goes on your credit, it's damage to your credit, so it's hard for you to get a place or anything like that. So I'm just like... I'm just stuck."
Jason's family would pay $5,279 in fines and fees. To learn more, check out our "Double-Charged" series.
The composite characters you'll meet here are based on Youth Radio's reporting carried out over more than a year.
The names are made up, but the details are real - drawn from interviews and county averages.