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Missouri Juvenile Justice 101


Missouri Juvenile Justice 101 45 separate juvenile circuits 24 locally operated juvenile detention centers At age 17, a youth is considered an adult – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Missouri Juvenile Justice 101

Missouri Juvenile Justice 101
  • 45 separate juvenile circuits
  • 24 locally operated juvenile detention centers
  • At age 17, a youth is considered an adult
  • Juvenile court can retain jurisdiction until age
    21 for abuse/neglect, status offenders, and law

  • 1995 As a result of the killing two public
    safety officers by juveniles, Missouri revised
    its juvenile code.

Dual Jurisdiction was introduced in Missouri at
that time.
Although the JJDP does not require the separation
of certified juveniles from adult inmates in the
Department of Corrections, Missouri statute
requires this separation to ensure the safety and
protection of certified youth.
This show how serious Missouri is about
protecting youth under 17.
Juveniles Referred for Homicide
The Montgomery City Youth Center, a 40 bed
facility, was built in response to the rise in
serious and violent crime in Missouri in the
mid-1990s as illustrated by this graph.
In 2002, the JJDP Act was reauthorized. Among the
changes, the definition of adult inmate was
According to OJJDPs guidance manual, once a
youth who has been certified as an adult reaches
the states age of majority (17 in Missouri), he
or she must be separated from the juvenile
population within 6 months.
In 2003, William Woodruff who was then the Deputy
Administrator for OJJDP, issued a memorandum to
states providing clarification on OJJDPs policy
regarding the separation of juvenile delinquent
offenders from young adult offenders in secure
juvenile detention and correctional facilities.
He announced that the implementation of this
policy clarification will require immediate
action from states with this issue.
Missouri was given two years to come into
compliance with this core requirement of the Act.
Given the fiscal, and legislative prohibitions,
Missouri was unable to come into compliance, and
the two year period has now ended.
Currently there are 15 dual jurisdiction youth at
the Montgomery City Youth Center. On a daily
basis, there are an average of 5 dual
jurisdiction youth over the age of 17 years - six
Missouri Division of Youth Services
  • Treatment Approach Dual Jurisdiction
  • Tim Decker, Director
  • Bill Heberle, Deputy Director
  • Brent Buerck, Program Administrator

Missouri DYS - Statistical Overview
  • 1,214 youth committed
  • 82 Male 18 Female
  • 45 - 16 and over
  • 10 - 13 and younger
  • 65 from metro areas
  • Committing offenses
  • 51 felonies
  • 38 misdemeanors
  • 11 juvenile offenses
  • 32 educational disability
  • 47 prior mental health
  • 3,424 in case management
  • 87.6 satisfactory discharge
  • Recommitment rate 8.7
  • 18 achieve GED or diploma prior to discharge
  • 70 progress faster rate than peers in core
  • Dept. of Corrections Involvement (3 years after
    discharge/class of 2003)
  • 8.6 incarceration
  • 24 adult probation

Elements of the Missouri System
  • Safety Structure
  • Safety 1st (public and youth)
  • Focus on supervision and facilitation
  • Human dignity and family-like small group
    environments (10 -12 youth)
  • Disclosure and personal growth
  • Humane Therapeutic Environment
  • Group process/systems approach
  • Behavior as a symptom of unmet needs and
    underlying issues
  • Ongoing assessment/staff leadership
  • Levels systems reflect treatment and change
  • Resistance to change normalized
  • Healthy and caring adult/youth relationships
  • Focus and build on strengths
  • Family Community Engagement
  • Services provided in closest possible proximity
    to families communities
  • View youth in the context of family and community
  • Family Inclusion parents are the experts on
    their own youth
  • Collaboration and partnerships - Community
    Liaison Councils
  • Continuity of Care Service Integration
  • Comprehensive case management throughout youths
    stay in system
  • Philosophical alignment of all services with
    vision, mission, and principles
  • Driven by strengths and needs of youth and
    families youth dont fit the program, the
    program fits the youth
  • Variety of options and levels of care least
    restrictive environment (secure, moderate,
    community, day treatment)

Elements of the Missouri System
  • Leadership Innovation
  • Systemic and developmental approaches
  • All leaders connected to the field and focused on
    young people families
  • Value innovation and embrace change
  • Training and professional development are an arm
    of management
  • Focus on ongoing program improvement and
  • Open, Inclusive, Neutral
  • Open communication multi-directional within and
    outside the system
  • Neutrality, beyond blame
  • Healthy conflict resolution
  • Decentralized decision-making
  • Quality Valued Staff
  • Cultural representation staff reflect the
    ethnicity/culture of the youth and families
  • Staff value youth, see their strengths, and
    believe they can change and become contributing
    members of society
  • Ongoing learning and professional development
  • Staff are knowledgeable about youth issues
  • Staff throughout the system are involved in
    planning efforts those working closest with
    youth and families have a powerful voice in the
    decision-making process
  • Effective staff intervention in conflict and
    crisis situations

Missouri Dual Jurisdiction Program
  • Established 1995 RSMo 211.073 as part of
    Missouris Juvenile Crime Bill
  • Dual Jurisdiction is a blended sentencing
    alternative in which the court may dually commit
    a certified youth offender to both the Division
    of Youth Services and the Department of
    Corrections. It allows the court to
    simultaneously invoke both a juvenile and adult
    sentence (the execution of which is suspended).

Who is eligible?
  • Certified youth offenders, provided the DYS
    Assessment is ordered prior to 17th birthday
  • Males Females
  • DYS must be in agreement with all Dual Commitments

What is the Process?
  1. Youth is certified
  2. Youth pleads or is found guilty in the court of
    general jurisdiction
  3. Court orders a DYS assessment
  4. Youth is sentenced

DYS Assessment Considers
  • Seriousness of current offense viciousness,
    force violence involved
  • Youths history criminal social
  • Prior services received juvenile probation,
    DYS commitment, etc.
  • Mental health needs
  • Amenability to treatment - attitude motivation
    to participate in treatment education services

Programs Length
  • Length of individual placement varies but likely
    to range from 3 to 5 years
  • Dependant, in part, upon
  • Youths progress in treatment
  • Attitude of the committing court
  • Seriousness of offense(s)
  • Victim Impact position
  • Completion of education and treatment services

Extension Hearing
  • Statute requires DYS to petition committing court
    to extend custody past the age of 18
  • Typically completed during the youths 17th year
  • Court reviews youths progress to determine if
    continued placement is appropriate
  • Extension grants DYS continued custody up to 21st

Release Process
  • 6-12 months prior to release, youth begins
    transition phase of programming focused on
    community re-entry, re-socialization, and
    restorative justice
  • DYS petitions court for release hearing is
    held. Youths progress is reviewed and court
    makes release decision. Options include
  • Probation
  • Revoke the suspension of the adult sentence

Programmatic Safeguards
  • DYS must agree to accept all Dual commitments
  • DYS may petition the court to remove youth from
    the program if they are not amenable to treatment
    (RSMo 211.073.3)
  • Extension Hearings required to retain a youth
    past age 18 (RSMo 211.073.4)
  • DYS has developed, tested implemented a
    diagnostic tool to determine if the Dual
    Commitment is appropriate

Success of Dual Jurisdiction in MO
  • All youth who have successfully completed the
    program have been released with the adult
    sentence remaining suspended
  • Program results from 1996 inception - 2006
  • 36 Youth Released (2 additional released in
    FY2007 but not captured here)
  • 30 Successful 6 Unsuccessful
  • Of the 30 Successful releases, 6 went to prison
  • 83 Success
  • Currently 15 in program cases pending

Dual Jurisdiction Facility
  • Montgomery City Youth Center
  • Montgomery City, Missouri
  • High Secure DYS Residential Program with
    Perimeter Fence
  • 40 bed facility divided into 4 cottages

It is ironic that a provision built into the
federal Act to protect juveniles can potentially
harm youth in Missouri as they would be less
likely to be considered for Dual Jurisdiction,
and more likely to be sentenced to prison as they
will have less time to receive treatment and
prove themselves to the court.
We propose
  • Upon the JJDP Acts reauthorization, the JJDP Act
    be modified to allow a provision for dual
  • Or that the definition of adult inmate be
    modified or eliminated
  • Or that states operating these programs prior to
    the JJDP Acts reauthorization be exempted or be
    analyzed on a state-by-state basis to be
    considered for a waiver
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