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Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice proceedings involve minors charged with committing an act which would be a crime if committed by an adult. Juvenile Court jurisdiction over these proceedings is described in Welfare and Institutions Code Section 602. If allegations in the petition are found to be true, and if the minor is declared a ward of the court, the minor might remain at home on probation under certain conditions and with removal as a possible sanction for probation violation. Alternatively, a ward may be removed from the home and placed in another setting, such as a group home, juvenile hall, Youth Center or a county camp, or in the more restrictive Department of Corrections Division of Juvenile Justice (or other alternatives after July 1, 2021.)

Probation Office

County probation officers are involved in most aspects of juvenile delinquency cases. They make recommendations to the judge and district attorney about how to handle cases. They also run juvenile halls and supervise minors placed on probation.

More information about the California State Probation Office

Link to Monterey County Probation

Department of Corrections Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)

The Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) provides education and treatment to California's justice-involve youth up to the age of 25 who have the most serious criminal backgrounds and most intense treatment needs. Most justice-involved youth today are committed to county facilities in their home community where they can be closer to their families and local social services that are vital to rehabilitation. Under a new law, there is a process to phase DJJ commitments out and develop local or regional secure facilities so minors are closer to home if more secure facilities are required for the safety of the minors or others.

DJJ provides academic and vocational education and treatment programs that address violent and criminogenic behavior, substance abuse, and mental health issues; where appropriate, sex offender treatment is also provided. DJJ also provides medical care and maintains a safe and secure environment conducive to learning.

Youth are assigned living units based on their age, gender, risk of institutional violence and their specialized treatment needs. The population in each living unit is limited and staffing levels ensure that each youth receives effective attention and rehabilitative programming.

More information about the Division of Juvenile Justice:

Juvenile Drug Court

The Juvenile Drug Court addresses the serious drug abuse issues of minors. The goal of the program is to support the minor's commitment to sobriety by providing the treatment and supervision needed to promote abstinence from substance abuse and to deter criminal behavior.

Minors participating in the eighteen month program are required to attend frequent progress reviews with the judge, attend weekly self-help groups, participate in group, individual, and family counseling, and follow the terms and conditions of probation.

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