Juvenile Court is responsible for adjudicating matters regarding minors. Crimes committed by children and minors are treated differently than the same crimes committed by adults. This practice is followed in order to give young, impressionable youth a second chance. Juvenile Cases generally fall into two major categories: Delinquency and Family In Need of Services (FINS).
Intake is the first step in the Juvenile Court process. When a juvenile is cited with a delinquent charge, the juvenile meets with the Juvenile Intake officer. The purpose of the Intake is to advise the juvenile of their rights, discuss the charges or complaint against them and to gather background information on the family to ensure the Court orders the appropriate services during the adjudication. The possible services the Judge will order include the following: Probation, community service, fines, counseling, drug and alcohol classes/treatment, electronic monitoring, house arrest, detention in a juvenile detention facility, cormnitment to the Division of Youth Services (DYS). Intake services also include at the discretion of intake officer and juvenile prosecutor diversion programs for select, first time, non-violent offenders. Diversion programs include, but are not limited to: Counseling, educational programs and supervision.
Delinquency cases may be filed against the juvenile when the juvenile is age 10 to 17. Delinquency includes any criminal act (not including traffic and game and fish violations) if committed by an adult, or minors in possession of handguns. The prosecuting attorney files a petition with the court and the juvenile and his/her parents are made defendants and must answer to the court.
Family In Need of Services (FINS) cases may be filed when a child's behavior includes such acts as running away, being truant or being disobedient to his/her parents and it is brought to the attention ofthe juvenile authorities, often by parents or school officials. The goal of a FINS case is to work out a course of action to stop these problems. FINS cases also include kids who commit crimes who are under 10 and kids who have mental health and alcohol and drug related problems.
Juvenile Office Info
101 W Center St, Room 110
Sheridan, AR 72150