New Jersey System of Juvenile Justice
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A juvenile enters the juvenile justice system when a complaint charging the commission of a delinquent act is signed. A law enforcement officer may take a juvenile into custody when there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile is delinquent. In lieu of signing a delinquency complaint, the officer may divert the case through several means, including releasing the juvenile to a responsible parent or guardian (with or without a reprimand and warning) or conduct a station house adjustment. Once a delinquency complaint is signed, a juvenile can be held in a secure detention facility if certain statutory criteria are met. The officer refers the case to court intake service to request admission into detention.
Juvenile/Family Crisis Intervention Units (JFCIUs) were authorized to divert from court proceedings, matters involving family related problems, e.g., incorrigibility, truancy, runaway and serious family conflict. The JFCIUs provide short-term, crisis intervention services with the goal of stabilizing the family situation and/or referring the juvenile and family to available community agencies.
Juvenile Conference Committees (JCCs) and Intake Service Conferences (ISCs) are diversion procedures established by the court and utilized in select first and second offenses of a minor nature. JCCs are comprised of community residents appointed by the court to review certain delinquency complaints. ISCs are conducted by court intake staff to review slightly more serious delinquency allegations. Both diversion procedures occur after delinquency complaints have been signed and filed with the court.
Secure juvenile detention is the temporary placement of juveniles charged with a delinquent act, in a locked facility, prior to the disposition of their case. New Jersey law mandates that the court can detain juveniles only if they are considered a danger to the community or if they are deemed a risk not to appear in court. (N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-34). In addition, some juveniles are detained post-disposition while awaiting program placement. Several counties have also developed a short-term commitment program, which serves as a dispositions option.
If your child has been charged with one of these offenses or any other juvenile act of delinquency, you should immediately seek the advice of a New Jersey juvenile criminal defense lawyer. At Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC, our juvenile criminal defense lawyers know how to protect your child’s rights and vigorously pursue a favorable resolution on their behalf. For a free consultation, contact us at (908) 322-7000. We can be reached 24 hours a day.