Each year the Utah Juvenile Court system prepares a community report to update Utah citizens about how things are progressing in the juvenile legal system. Since the juvenile court system is primarily concerned with helping kids, victims and reducing the rate of re-offending, the information contained in the community report is used to track how kids are doing in our state.
Juvenile Court Referrals
Juveniles can be referred to juvenile court by different agencies including the police and schools. Delinquency referrals can be for:
• contempt of court
• traffic offenses
The community report notes that the majority of referrals to juvenile court in 2011 were for misdemeanors or contempt offenses. Felonies accounted for just 6% of the delinquency referrals. Felony referrals in 2011 were 5.8 per 1000 juveniles (ages 10-17), which is a slight decrease from the previous year.
Keeping Track of Re-Offenders
Another part of the community report discusses re-offending. Among male juveniles in 2009, 64% didn’t re-offend while for females in the same year, 73% weren’t re-offenders. One of the main goals of the juvenile court system is to help kids not commit crimes again.
Drug testing is an additional gauge used to see how kids are doing. In 2011, 83% of females tested negative for drugs—a decline from 2010. Males, on the other hand, went from 81% testing negative to 82% testing negative for drugs.
Restitution for Juveniles
Restitution can be a requirement for some offenders in juvenile court. In 2011, $795,000 was repaid to victims of juvenile offenses. Having people, whether kids or adults, give back positively to victims of their crimes can be a good way to help everyone see that crime truly doesn’t pay.
Juveniles should generally be treated as such, which is why it’s good to know there are some people watching out for the rights of kids. In the same vein, it’s vital that your child be represented by a qualified, experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney if he is ever involved with the juvenile court system. An attorney can be a valuable resource and defender for a child in the court system, regardless of the charges he’s facing.
Help your child by contacting a Utah juvenile defense attorney today.