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The Juvenile Court Process

Describe the juvenile court process and explain it to a juvenile offender and his or her family on these topics:

1. The juvenile court team
2. Rights of the juvenile
3. Phases of filing a petition
4. Types of juvenile sentencing
5.Confidentiality issues
5. Restitution

How would you explain it if you were to actually present to an audience.

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Let's take a closer look at each section through discussion and information to consider for each section. I also attached two diagrams in separate file that clearly illustrate the steps in the juvenile court process.


1. How would you explain it if you were to actually present to an audience?

One approach is to use the six points in the order presented and then discuss each topic (e.g., the juvenile court team, rights of the juvenile, etc.) in easy to understand language, and then provide a pamphlet or brochure explaining the process in more detail. However, if it is to an audience, more than the parents and child, you would need to consider the time allotted and then use as much information as necessary to fill in the time. For example, a 10-minute presentation, would have a few major points under each section, whereas an one hour presentation would have more detailed information for each section. If you are talking to the parent and child, you might begin by saying...

I would like to explain the juvenile court system to you and your child so you know what to expect in the court process. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me to clarify anything that you might not quite understand.

Let's look at some information for you to consider for each section.


The Juvenile Court System

In United States, the juvenile court handles cases involving youths who are under age 18. The court has jurisdiction even if the youth turns 18 before the case is adjudicated, and jurisdiction continues until the age of 21. Cases fall within these categories:

? Child in Need of Assistance (CINA), involving a juvenile who has been physically, sexually, or emotionally abused or neglected by someone responsible for his care;
? Child in Need of Supervision (CINS), involving a juvenile who has committed such an offense as truancy, violation of curfew laws, running away, habitual disobedience or ungovernable behavior; citations which violate the alcoholic beverages laws, such as possessing liquor or misrepresenting one's age to obtain it, or drinking on school grounds; children who run away across state lines, either into or out of Maryland; violations of compulsory public school attendance; emergency medical treatment; termination of parental rights; and Department of Social Services adoptions (Source:

1. The Juvenile Court Team

First, let's talk about the juvenile court team.

Information to consider:

The goal of juvenile court is to give children and parents the treatment and resources they need to stop cycles of delinquent behavior, end abuse and neglect and provide medical care so that the children have the opportunity to become productive citizens, rather than graduate to adult criminal court or suffer chronic, life-threatening abuse and neglect. To shield juveniles from the "taint of criminality," delinquency proceedings are civil, not criminal; and special terms are used for the parties and phases of the proceeding, one of them being the process of petition (as opposed to the criminal court term of indictment) (see chart comparing the juvenile terms to the adult terms at

The juvenile court system is considered a multidisciplinary court, which uses the team approach. For example, the Seventeenth Judicial District Juvenile Court is an integrated, multidisciplinary court. Professionals from all disciplines work together to make certain that children are protected, families remain intact whenever possible, and that the community is safe. This requires the participation of those affecting children and families, including social service agencies, law enforcement ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes the juvenile court process on several dimensions (e.g., juvenile court team, rights of the juvenile, Phases of filing a petition, types of juvenile sentencing, confidentiality issues and restitution) and then overviews how to explain it to a juvenile offender and his or her family. Supplemented with informative diagrams that clearly illustrates the steps in the juvenile court process.