Most juveniles enter the juvenile justice system through the intake process. Juvenile offenders and their parents/guardians are summoned to the Juvenile Probation Officer after an allegation of delinquency is filed. Intake probation officers (IPO) initially meet with the juvenile and his/her family, review the alleged charges, conduct an investigation of the juvenile and his/her family, and make a recommendation to the court that best satisfies the Juvenile Act mandate of Community Protection, Accountability, and Competency Development.
The initial intake interview provides the IPO, as well as the juvenile and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) the opportunity to discuss the allegations, the Juvenile Court process, and the tools that will be used to determine the best treatment plan for the juvenile offender. During the interview, you can expect the following:
- Review and discuss the Juvenile Court Process
- Discuss the need for attorney representation and refer the juvenile to the Public Defenders' Office if he/she has not retained private counsel.
- Determine the juvenile's position on the alleged charges.
- Gather and review contact information for the juvenile and his/her parents/guardians.
- Discuss referral to the fiscal office to ensure that the fiscal unit can obtain all family financial and insurance information, as well as provide notice to parents/guardians of potential financial responsibility.
- Thorough interview, including request for both parent/guardian and juvenile demographics, as well as in-depth information regarding school status, behavior, and home environment/behavior.
As part of the intake interview process, a home investigation is required for all in-county cases. During the home investigation, the IPO will physically visit the juveniles home, assess the current living conditions, conduct a physical inspection of the juveniles room, noting the location of the room within the home and who the juvenile shares the room with, if applicable, and determine who resides in the home. In addition, the IPO will determine and note the presence of any weapons or pets that could compromise safety.