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Enhanced Juvenile Justice Guidelines

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The NCJFCJ announced the release of the Enhanced Juvenile Justice Guidelines, the most recent update documenting the improvement of court practices in juvenile justice cases.

Since 2005, with the original publication of Juvenile Delinquency Guidelines: Improving Court Practice in Juvenile Delinquency Cases (JDG), the NCJFCJ has worked with juvenile justice courts to promulgate best practices in juvenile delinquency proceedings.

The purpose of the Juvenile Delinquency Guidelines was to set forth the essential elements of effective practice for the court processes that are involved in the handling of juvenile delinquency cases. It identified recommended practices throughout the juvenile delinquency court system – from the determination of whether a case should enter the formal juvenile delinquency court system, to determination as to whether juvenile delinquency court jurisdiction should be waived and the youth transferred to criminal court, as well as post-disposition review of the reentry process for youth returning to the community from out-of-home placement.

In 2017, the NCJFCJ revisited the Juvenile Delinquency Guidelines to ensure that it reflected the changes in court practice, advances in brain science, the understanding of adolescent development and the juvenile specific rulings from the Supreme Court. The Enhanced version, funded by the State Justice Institute, contains up-to-date information on general court processes, initiating juvenile justice court processes, best practices in detention or initial hearings, waiver and transfer hearings, trial/adjudication hearings, disposition hearings, the appeals process, post-disposition reviews, and probation and parole violations.

“Much has changed within the juvenile justice system, and we are committed to implementing process improvement, measuring results, and sharing experiences with juvenile courts,” said Judge John J. Romero, Jr., NCJFCJ president. “The NCJFCJ and our judges are committed to promoting systems change within our jurisdictions across the country.”