It can include community service to maybe educational classes. It can also include substance abuse counseling. The difference in juvenile court is that there’s juvenile detention and there’s also essentially a juvenile corrections facility.
There’s a difference between the two. Detention is essentially where they’re in custody but it is a better environment, a softer environment meant to help rehabilitate. Again, they is still in custody, they are not with their family.
The corrections facility is more severe and it’s for more serious juvenile offenders. Juveniles who usually have multiple prior convictions are sent there and the facility is essentially a version of a juvenile prison facility.
Interviewer: Would juveniles end up there at the before they go to court or only if they’ve been convicted of an offense?
Munoz: In terms of the juvenile correctional facility, they would usually never be sent there unless they were actually convicted of the crime.
Interviewer: Would a 10-year old be arrested, handcuffed, and taken to the juvenile detention center? Would an 8-year old? Would a 15-year old? Is there any police discretion on what they will and won’t do depending on age?
Different Arrest Procedures For Different Ages
Munoz: I mean anybody can be arrested. Usually 7-years old or younger are really the ages where you’re really not going to see a person handcuffed. I mean is it possible? Yes, it’s possible, but usually what happens is if someone’s arrested, their parent’s pick them up, and in most cases they’d be out of custody. They could be held in custody if the judge thinks they need to be at an initial appearance.
From that point, the police submit charges to the state, and the state decides whether or not to charge the juvenile with a crime. Seven years old is usually the line where they kind of decide if they are going to charge the crime or not against this person. Sometimes the state will use their discretion and even if you’re 10 or younger they still might decide not to charge a crime.
Obviously, the more serious the crime, the more likely they are to charge. I mean there have been cases around the country where very young minors or juveniles have committed very serious offenses like murder, rape, or sexual abuse.
Interviewer: I understand.
Munoz: The more serious the crime, the more likely the state is going to charge it.
Interviewer: When a juvenile is arrested, will they be given preferential treatment? Will the parents be called immediately? Is there an obligation to call the parents? Or will they just be taken to the detention center and they have to bond out. What happens with them?