Release to Parent; Diversion by Police; Secure Detention
Release to Parent
Depending on the seriousness of the offense, the circumstances of the case, and the availability of a responsible parent or guardian, the police may decide to release a juvenile charged with a crime to the custody of the parent or other responsible guardian. In these cases, the written allegation
is sent by the police to the juvenile probation department or district attorney for processing.
Diversion by Police
In some cases involving first-time offenders and less serious offenses, the police may decide to divert a juvenile case from continuing into the juvenile justice system. This usually involves referring the juvenile to a social service agency, or to a Youth Aid Panel
, Community Justice Panel
, or other community-based service that exists for this purpose.
A juvenile’s failure to cooperate with and abide by the conditions of the diversion program may result in the juvenile’s case being forwarded to the juvenile probation department for formal processing.
Secure detention is the temporary holding of a juvenile in a secure facility pending court action. In the more serious cases, the police may not view the release to parents or diversion as an option after an arrest. In these cases, the police must contact the juvenile probation department to request approval for the juvenile to be admitted to secure detention.
Secure detention is not mandatory, and when secure detention is requested, consideration must be given to less restrictive alternatives that would guarantee the juvenile’s presence at court while protecting the community.
If secure detention is approved by the probation department, a detention hearing must be held within 72 hours of the juvenile’s admission to detention. The purpose of that hearing is to determine if probable cause
exists, meaning that the juvenile committed the alleged offenses. Also, to determine whether the juvenile will remain in secure detention until the adjudication hearing.