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SB 94 Serious juvenile offenders.

Introduced by: Jackson E. Reasor, Jr. | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles


Serious juvenile offenders. Broadens the application of the serious juvenile offender statute to include juveniles who have been previously adjudicated delinquent for a felony punishable by a term of confinement of 20 years or more, clarifies that the circuit court has the authority to commit juveniles under the serious offender statute, and allows determinate commitment of a juvenile up to his 25th birthday. The bill requires notice to victims of release hearings of serious juvenile offenders; allows for the transfer of serious juvenile offenders, age 18 and older, to the Department of Corrections' youthful offender program for completion of the juvenile's original period of commitment and requires a period of post-release supervision of six months to three years much like the adult convicts. In addition to the current limitation terminating indeterminate commitments upon age 21, the bill limits such commitments to a maximum of 36 months so that indeterminate commitments are not longer than determinate commitments under the serious offender law. The Board of Youth and Family Services is directed to establish length-of-stay guidelines for indeterminately committed juveniles and to make such guidelines available for public comment. The bill broadens the purpose and intent of the juvenile and domestic relations law to include the safety of the community and the protection of victims' rights in addition to the welfare of the child and the family. In keeping with this broader scope, the bill opens juvenile court transfer hearings to the public unless, for good cause shown, the court closes the proceedings and establishes the right of the victim or his representative to attend certain proceedings in the juvenile court in much the same manner as is allowed in the circuit and general district courts. The bill also, allows informal procedures (diversion) only on the first appearance of a juvenile before the intake officer of the juvenile court. Second and subsequent proceedings must involve the filing of a petition with the court. Appearances before the intake officer would require that any diversion include a plan for restitution or community service and create an official record to be placed in the juvenile's case file. The bill also requires mental health screening for juveniles placed in secure detention.

This bill is recommended by the Commission on Youth.