A juvenile enters the juvenile justice system when a complaint charging the commission of a delinquent act is signed. A law enforcement officer may take a juvenile into custody when there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile is delinquent. In lieu of signing a delinquency complaint, the officer may divert the case through several means, including releasing the juvenile to a responsible parent or guardian (with or without a reprimand and warning) or conduct a station house adjustment. Once a delinquency complaint is signed, a juvenile can be held in a secure detention facility if certain statutory criteria are met. The officer refers the case to court intake service to request admission into detention.
Juvenile/Family Crisis Intervention Units
Juvenile/Family Crisis Intervention Units (JFCIUs) were authorized to divert from court proceedings, matters involving family related problems, e.g., incorrigibility, truancy, runaway and serious family conflict. The JFCIUs provide short-term, crisis intervention services with the goal of stabilizing the family situation and/or referring the juvenile and family to available community agencies.
Juvenile Conference Committees (JCCs) and Intake Service Conferences (ISCs) are diversion procedures established by the court and utilized in select first and second offenses of a minor nature. JCCs are comprised of community residents appointed by the court to review certain delinquency complaints. ISCs are conducted by court intake staff to review slightly more serious delinquency allegations. Both diversion procedures occur after delinquency complaints have been signed and filed with the court.
Secure juvenile detention is the temporary placement of juveniles charged with a delinquent act, in a locked facility, prior to the disposition of their case. New Jersey law mandates that the court can detain juveniles only if they are considered a danger to the community or if they are deemed a risk not to appear in court. (N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-34). In addition, some juveniles are detained post-disposition while awaiting program placement. Several counties have also developed a short-term commitment program, which serves as a dispositions option.
In New Jersey, counties are generally responsible for operating and financing detention facilities. The State's role is primarily limited to standard setting, monitoring and technical assistance through the JJC's Compliance Monitoring Unit. In 1999 there were 18 juvenile detention facilities statewide, with a capacity of 910 beds.
2C:52-4.1 Juvenile delinquent; expungement of adjudications and charges.
1. a. Any person adjudged a juvenile delinquent may have such adjudication expunged as follows:
(1)Pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-2, if the act committed by the juvenile would have constituted a crime if committed by an adult;
(2)Pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-3, if the act committed by the juvenile would have constituted a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense if committed by an adult; or
(3)Pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-4, if the act committed by the juvenile would have constituted an ordinance violation if committed by an adult.
For purposes of expungement, any act which resulted in a juvenile being adjudged a delinquent shall be classified as if that act had been committed by an adult.
b.Additionally, any person who has been adjudged a juvenile delinquent may have his entire record of delinquency adjudications expunged if:
(1)Five years have elapsed since the final discharge of the person from legal custody or supervision or 5 years have elapsed after the entry of any other court order not involving custody or supervision, except that periods of post-incarceration supervision pursuant to section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44), shall not be considered in calculating the five-year period for purposes of this paragraph;
(2)He has not been convicted of a crime, or a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense, or adjudged a delinquent, or in need of supervision, during the 5 years prior to the filing of the petition, and no proceeding or complaint is pending seeking such a conviction or adjudication, except that periods of post-incarceration supervision pursuant to section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44), shall not be considered in calculating the five-year period for purposes of this paragraph;
(3)He was never adjudged a juvenile delinquent on the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute a crime not subject to expungement under N.J.S.2C:52-2;
(4)He has never had an adult conviction expunged; and
(5)He has never had adult criminal charges dismissed following completion of a supervisory treatment or other diversion program.
c.Any person who has been charged with an act of delinquency and against whom proceedings were dismissed may have the filing of those charges expunged pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.2C:52-6.
Amended 1981, c.290, s.44; 2009, c.188, s.2.