Removal of Juveniles from Adult Jails and Lockups (Jail Removal)
Definition, Rules, and Regulations
- A juvenile accused of, or charged with, committing an offense,
or alleged to have committed an offense (not yet adjudicated).
- The court has determined that is has been proven beyond a reasonable
doubt that the juvenile has committed a delinquent act or status offense,
or that the juvenile has pled guilty to committing a delinquent act
or status offense.
- Status Offender
- A juvenile who has been charged with, or adjudicated for, conduct
that would not be criminal if committed by an adult. Examples include:
running away, underage drinking, underage possession of alcohol or
tobacco, curfew violation (if the curfew ordinance applies only to
juveniles) and truancy. Possession of a handgun by a juvenile is excluded
from the status offense classification by state and federal laws. Juveniles
who are illegal immigrants and have not committed a delinquent act
are monitored as status offenders.
- A juvenile who is subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court,
usually under abuse, dependency, or neglect statutes, or mental health
issues, but have not committed a delinquent act. Alien juveniles who
have not committed a delinquent act are also classified as non-offenders.
- A juvenile who has been charged with, or adjudicated for, any conduct
that would be criminal if committed by an adult. Examples include:
D.U.I., open container in a vehicle, trespass, assault, burglary, etc.
Federal Rules and Regulations - Jail Removal
Code Title 15 Section 3203-A (7)(A)
The Jail Removal core requirement states that no juvenile shall
be held securely in an adult jail or adult lockup. However, there
are two exceptions to this rule:
- a 6-hour hold exception
for alleged and certain adjudicated delinquent offenders
- an exception for juveniles judicially transferred to
adult criminal court, or filed directly to criminal court by
the prosecuting district attorney. These exceptions are explained
below. Any secure holding or detention of a juvenile in
these facilities for purposes (i.e., punishment or time-out)
other than those excepted below is a violation of
the jail removal core requirement.
Exceptions to the Jail Removal Rule
6-Hour Hold Exception
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
regulations allow for a “6-hour grace period” that
permits the secure detention of juveniles in adult jails and
lockups under the following circumstances:
An accused delinquent may be detained for up to six hours
for the purposes of identification, processing,
and to arrange for release to parents or transfer to juvenile
court, juvenile shelter or a juvenile detention center.
During this time no sight and sound contact with adult
inmates is allowed.
An accused or adjudicated delinquent may be detained
for up to six hours before a court appearance and up to
an additional six hours after a court appearance awaiting
transport or release. During this time no sight and sound
contact with adult inmates is allowed. These times cannot
be combined. For example, a delinquent may not be held
for four hours before court and eight hours after court
for a total of 12 hours.
These 6-hour grace periods start the moment the juvenile
is placed in the secured setting and the “clock” cannot
be stopped until the juvenile is permanently removed from
the secured setting. For example, if a juvenile were placed
in a secured setting at 1000 hours, then temporarily removed
at 1100 hours for questioning and returned to the secured
setting at 1300 hours, the juvenile would be considered in
continuous secure custody from the beginning time of 1000
hours or a total of 3 hours. Therefore, in this case, the
juvenile must be released no later than 1600 hours or a violation
of the Jail Removal core requirement 6-hour grace period
If a juvenile is arrested for a very serious offense
such as murder and it is anticipated that activities such
as lab work and investigation will take longer than 6 hours,
the juvenile should be processed and transported to a juvenile
detention facility pending completion of these activities
or the direct filing of charges in criminal court.
Exception for Transferred or Direct File Juveniles Juveniles
who have been judicially waived to, direct filed by the
district attorney, or are otherwise under the jurisdiction
of the adult criminal court do not fall under the purview of
the JJDP Act. However, state law requires that if they are
held securely they must be held separately from adults. [ Maine
Juvenile Code Title 15 Section 3203-A 7 (A)(1)(2)]. The transfer
or direct filing of charges must have been completed before
they are excluded from the JJDP Act and core protections.