ABOUT JUVENILE SERVICES
The authority of the juvenile court is established by state statute and vested in Chapter 211 of the Missouri Revised Statute. Additional authority and guidance is provided by the Supreme Court of Missouri in its Rules, Practice and Procedures.
The mission of the juvenile court is set out in Chapter 211 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. The purpose of chapter 211 is to facilitate the care, protection and discipline of children who come within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. This chapter shall be liberally construed, therefore, to the end that each child coming within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court shall receive such care, guidance and control as will conduce to the child’s welfare and the best interest of the state, and that when such child is removed from the control of his parents the court shall secure for him care as nearly as possible equivalent to that which should have been given him by them.
The child welfare policy of this state is what is in the best interest of the child.
FACTS ABOUT THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM
A law violation committed at the age of 16 or younger will be referred to the Juvenile Office.
- You will be fingerprinted and photographed if taken into custody for any felony offense
- You may be tried as an adult for any felony offense at age 12 and older.
- There will be a hearing to determine if you will be tried as an adult for the following offenses:
1. First Degree Murder
2. Second Degree Murder
3. First Degree Assault
4. Forcible Rape
5. Forcible Sodomy
6. First Degree Robbery
7. Distribution of Drugs
- Your juvenile court hearing may be open to the public.
- Your juvenile records may be open to the public.
- You may be removed from your home if you break the law.
- The court can keep you in custody until you are 21 years of age.
- ABUSE & LOSE - if you use drugs or alcohol, you may lose your driver's license for one year.
- Parents and guardians can be held financially responsible for their children's illegal activities.
- If you cause damage to property or injure a person, your parents may have to pay up to $4,000.00 for damages or injuries.
THE ROLE OF THE JUVENILE OFFICER
Children are referred to the juvenile office for one of the following reasons; child abuse/neglect (victim), status offender (incorrigible, injurious behavior, truant, runaway) or delinquency (criminal law violation).
The juvenile officer, under the direction of the juvenile court judge, assumes varying responsibilities under the Juvenile Code. These include receiving children taken into judicial custody, conducting preliminary inquires, informally adjusting less serious juvenile matters, filing petitions against juveniles or parents when necessary, preparing social studies, presenting evidence in court and providing rehabilitative supervision and other treatment services to children and their parents.
Juvenile Officers provide assistance to social service agencies, law enforcement, schools and the general public in dealing with issues of child abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights, delinquency and status offenses by youth.
Investigations, probation services and court work are daily tasks.
The Juvenile Officer assists with victim restitution from juveniles and community service programs for offenders. Probation supervision services are provided to youth referred to the Juvenile Office for delinquency and status offenses.
Foster care is coordinated through the Missouri Children's Division for youth in need due to homelessness, physical, emotional or sexual abuse and neglect.