SB 0262 Juvenile Crimes
Committee:CIVILR Number:S0792.04I
Last Action:02/01/95 - Bill Combined w/SCS/SB 40, 267, 262, 59, 6 & 19
Title:SCS/SB 40, 267, 262, 59, 6 & 1
Effective Date:August 28, 1995
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Current Bill Summary

SB 262 - This act changes various provisions relating to juvenile offenders. If a child of any age has committed an offense, which would be a felony if committed by an adult, the juvenile judge shall order a certification hearing and may transfer the child to the circuit court. The prosecuting attorney may file a petition to certify a child as an adult when the child has committed an offense which would be considered any felony if committed by an adult. The prosecuting attorney shall have the right to be present at the hearing and present an opinion on the likelihood of prosecution.

PROSECUTING ATTORNEY'S ROLE: The prosecuting attorney shall prosecute any offense which would constitute a felony by an adult in juvenile court. The juvenile officer shall notify the prosecuting attorney's office of any such case. The attorney shall also have access to police reports, witness statements, and all other records relating to the alleged offense.

JUVENILE RECORDS: A petition may be filed to request that the juvenile court allow a disposition to be used in later proceedings after the child is seventeen years old. The court shall use the criteria in determining certification to determine if such a disposition shall be admissible later. Once found admissible, such a record is admissible for ten years after the original disposition.

In all proceedings not involving juvenile offenses, the records of the juvenile court shall be open only by order of the judge or as otherwise provided by law. In proceedings involving juvenile offenses, the records of the court shall be kept confidential and may be open only in certain instances. The juvenile officer may provide information at any time concerning the child to the victim, witnesses, school officials, law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys, or any person or agency with custody of the child. This information shall only be released to publicize the offense, the nature of the proceedings and other information that does not identify the child or his family.

After a child has been adjudicated a delinquent, the records of the hearing shall be open to the public to the same extent as all other criminal proceedings.

PLACEMENT OF JUVENILES: Police may take fingerprints and photographs of children taken into custody for offenses without permission of the juvenile judge. A child found to have committed an offense may be placed in the Division of Youth Services (DYS). As of January 1, 1996, the court may be assigned to the division for a set period pursuant to the length of stay guidelines. These guidelines shall have minimum and maximum review dates. A child shall not be released from secure care until the length of stay is completed. DYS shall provide the juvenile court with a list of programs available to the child and the court may order such juvenile to complete any such program. If a secure care facility reaches a level of ninety-eight percent capacity, the Director of DYS may release certain juveniles who do not pose an undue risk to the community. Juveniles who have been committed for serious offenses shall not be released prior to the time set by the guidelines. Notice of release shall be made to a victim who requests notice, the juvenile court, and the prosecuting attorney of that county.

A "Length of Stay Guidelines Commission" is established within DYS. This Commission will have six members including juvenile officers, juvenile judges, and a representative from DSS. The Commission will develop length of stay guidelines for use by juvenile judges to develop lengths of commitment for juveniles. The Commission shall review these guidelines at least once each year.

JUVENILE OFFICERS: In matters referred to the juvenile court, the juvenile officer shall assess the child and report this to the court in writing. The juvenile shall make recommendations in this report. The assessment shall take into account the nature of the offense and the appropriate treatment for the child. The court may order a psychiatric examination of the child before or after such a report is submitted.

USE OF PRIOR JUVENILE COURT DISPOSITIONS: Prior juvenile court dispositions may be used to question the credibility of a witness in a civil or criminal trial if the earlier disposition was ruled to be later admissible by the juvenile court. Prior dispositions may also be used to determine prior offender, persistent offender, and dangerous offender status if the earlier dispositions was ruled to be later admissible.