Juvenile Justice System Process Description
- A juvenile enters the system when he or she commits an offense and is arrested by police.
- The police may take the youth to a Receiving Center, make a referral, or take the youth’s name and give them a warning. If the youth is taken to a Receiving Center, the youth may be released home, referred to Youth Services for counseling or a time out, or referred to other services for additional help (intervention). Youth may be required by the Court to meet with an intake probation officer about their offense. The probation officer decides if the youth must see a judge, a commissioner, or whether the meeting addresses the offense (non-judicial closure).
- If the youth is arrested for a “bookable offense,” the youth may enter either Locked or Home Detention (if a judge orders Home Detention at a hearing). The youth receives a Detention Hearing within 48 hours. The Detention Hearing decides whether the youth will remain in Locked Detention, Home Detention, return home, or to a less restrictive placement until the youth has a Juvenile Court Hearing.
- The Juvenile Court Hearing decides guilt or innocence, and the sanctions (punishment) for the offense. The judge may order the youth to JJS Custody or order other sanctions (e.g., levy a fine, order payment of restitution to victims, place the offender on probation, order the youth to more detention or a work camp). Serious juvenile offenders may be transferred to adult court.
- Youth who are ordered to JJS custody receive a Case Manager.
- The Juvenile Court Judge may order the youth to Juvenile Justice Services for community placement, Observation and Assessment, or Secure Care.
- Youth ordered to Observation and Assessment spend 45 days in the program, then return to Juvenile Court for final sanctions. The judge reviews the assessments and decides where the youth will be placed. Youth are then reviewed every 90 days until they are released.
- Youth in community programs are reviewed by the Juvenile Court judge who determines whether the youth is prepared to leave JJS custody or requires further program participation.
- All youth sent to Secure Care are under the jurisdiction of the Youth Parole Authority. They participate in a Parole Authority Review to receive a guideline for how long their stay may be. Youth may participate in a Transition Program in the community to learn skills to live in the community and have additional Parole Authority Reviews as needed. The Parole Authority decides whether the youth is prepared to leave JJS custody.