Legal Terms

Adjudication (trial): A court hearing to figure out if the juvenile has committed a criminal offense.

Adjudication: Juveniles are adjudicated when found guilty by the court, not equal to but similar to an adult conviction.

Appeals: Someone asks for a hearing to change the court’s decision. Any court decision can be subject to an appeal. Appeals can take several months to resolve.

Arraignment: An initial or first appearance before the court. This is the date that appears on the summons where the juvenile is officially charged with the crime by the court.

Arraignment (initial appearance): The court ensures the defendant is aware of the charges brought forth in the pending petition (charge); the defendant is made aware of his/her right to due process.

ADA: Assistant District Attorney

Aftercare (community reintegration): Juvenile has been fully committed to a juvenile facility and has been released – not discharged – by the institution back to the community with conditions and supervised by a JCCO.

Attended Care: A 72-hour community-based bed to stabilize a juvenile’s behavior and keep them in the community.

Bind-over: A legal process that results in a juvenile being viewed as an adult in the eyes of the court. Usually involves a complete evaluation to assess that the juvenile is thinking like an adult and can no longer benefit from services in the juvenile justice system.

C-2: Child placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services for the protection of that child.

C-5: A legal disposition imposed by the Court wherein custody of a juvenile involved with the Division of Juvenile Services is given to DHHS because the parent/guardian is adjudged to be incapable of adequately supervising the child. Reasons for a C-5 may vary but the Court must find that in-home treatment has been tried and the child’s needs cannot be met in the home. 

Civil Violation: A legal charge that, if found guilty, cannot impose an imprisonment penalty, i.e. possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, tobacco violation and curfew violations.

Classification Conference: A meeting following assessment and orientation of a juvenile committed to a juvenile facility to finalize the juvenile’s Case Plan developed by the assessment team.  This plan will be implemented while the juvenile remains at the facility and will be directed towards ameliorating risk factors contributing to his/her offending and preparing the juvenile for community reintegration.

Commitment: The legal status of a juvenile who has been sentenced to the physical custody of the Department of Corrections and is housed in one of the two juvenile institutions in the state.

Community Reintegration Plan: The plan developed by a juvenile’s Unit Treatment Team as part of the juvenile’s case plan to assure successful reintegration into the community.  The plan addresses all aspects of a juvenile’s life and specifically addresses a juvenile’s risk factors for continued delinquent behavior.

CR – Conditional Release: Juvenile equivalent of bail. Conditions the youth agrees to follow if released from arrest. These can be authorized by a JCCO who is contacted by the arresting law enforcement agency or they can be imposed by a judge at a hearing. Examples of conditions include: living at a JCCO-approved placement (usually home); abiding by a curfew; school attendance, etc. Conditions remain enforceable until the youth’s next court date when other conditions may be imposed. If the youth does not abide by the conditions, he/she may be arrested or detained at a juvenile detention facility.

DA: District Attorney. The DA is an elected official at the county level, responsible for prosecuting crime in that county.

Detention Hearing: A hearing before a court for the purpose of holding a juvenile in a detention facility for a violation of law and meets the criteria and purpose of the juvenile code. The juvenile must go before the court within 48 hours of being held.

Detention Hold: A JCCO has ordered a hold on a juvenile who must be put before the court within 48 hours (see above).

DHHS: Department of Health and Human Services

Discharge: When a juvenile, committed to the Department of Corrections, is released from any form of supervision by the DOC. Usually happens automatically at age 18 but can be sooner than or as late as the age of 21.

D.O.C.: Department of Corrections. The Department with responsibility for services to juveniles who have been referred to the Division of Juvenile Services for action by law enforcement, placed under supervision of the Division in the community after having been adjudicated of having committed a juvenile offense, or committed to the custody of the Division (in a juvenile facility) after having been adjudicated of having committed a juvenile offense.

DOE: Department of Education. The Department with responsibility for overseeing the provision of educational programs and services to eligible students through School Administrative Units, other State agencies and private schools.

Extradition:  A legal process in which a person charged with an alleged crime in one state but residing in or found in another state, is returned to the charging state.

Felony: A Class A, B or C crime; usually a significant crime such as Burglary, Aggravated Assault, Rape or Murder.

Filing: A charge can be filed with the court for up to one year at the request or agreement of the District Attorney’s office and can be filed with or without conditions.  If the time period is completed without problems the change is dismissed.

First Hearing or Discussion Date: Occurs after a first appearance and is used to discuss a case to see if an agreement can be reached for a resolution of the charge.

General Education Development (GED): Tests that when passed serve as the legal equivalent of a high school diploma.

Hold for Court (H/C): A juvenile can be held on this status at one of the two state juvenile facilities but is not committed to the facility. Usually held pending a placement or for the court to gather more information such as having an evaluation completed before deciding a case.

IA (Informal Adjustment): A supervision status whereby a juvenile and guardian have met with the JCCO and agreed upon supervision and conditions. It cannot be for more than six (6) months. Conditions may vary; the charge does not go to the court unless the conditions are violated or the DA overrides the decision. 

IEP (Individualized Education Program): The document which is the basis for educational programming and placement for a student receiving special education.  It describes the amount and type of special education and related services the student will receive, any special accommodations or supplemental aids or services required, the goals and objectives the student may reasonably be expected to achieve, and how the student will participate in State and local assessments.  If a student is 14 or older, it also contains required information related to transition planning for the student.

Individualized Education Program Team: The team responsible for determining eligibility for special education, determining necessary evaluations, developing the Individualized Education Program, and determining the least restrictive environment in which to implement the Individualized

Intake: An initial meeting between the juvenile and parent/guardian and the JCCO.  The purpose of the meeting is to gather information and evaluate the situation. At this point the charge can be diverted out of the system.

Interstate Compact: An agreement between all US states that allows one person on probation/parole to reside in another state and be supervised by the receiving state. DHHS has a different Interstate Compact than DOC.

JASAE (Juvenile Automated Substance Abuse Evaluation): A self-reporting tool that provides a quick evaluation of a juvenile’s substance abuse issues.

JCCO (Juvenile Community Corrections Officer): The Department of Corrections employee who is both responsible for case management of a juvenile under the supervision of the Maine Department of Corrections while the juvenile is in the community and who is a member of the unit treatment team while the juvenile is in the facility.

JISS (Juvenile Intensive Supervision Services):  Intensive supervision imposed by the court or as part of probation. The service is supplied by different agencies throughout Maine.  Low caseloads are designed to provide intensive support and services; designed to end in three (3) months. The JISS workers work closely with the JCCO; however, the JISS worker does not have the power to detain a juvenile.  JISS Services include intensive case management and emergency foster care.

JIPS (Juvenile Intervention Program): An accountability program designed to keep first-time offenders out of court and assist them in seeking out appropriate community services through a mentor relationship.

Juvenile Court: When a court deals with charges covered under Title 15 it is considered a juvenile court. It can be held in any court building. The Juvenile Docket is a confidential document so Juvenile Courts are not generally open to the public.

Juvenile Hearings: There are four types of juvenile hearings: arraignment, first hearing, trial, and detention. The charge can be settled by agreement at any one of these court events.

Juvenile Summons:  Issued by the police at the time the juvenile is charged. It contains information about the charge, the date of the charge and the court date.

LCYDC:  Long Creek Youth Development Center (formerly the Maine Youth Center); the juvenile facility in South Portland serving Southern Maine.

Least Restrictive Placement:  Maine’s Juvenile Code states, “Detention, if ordered, must be in the least restrictive residential setting that will serve the purpose of the Maine Juvenile Code…”

Leave:  A juvenile is allowed to depart the juvenile facility for a visit home for a few hours or the weekend.

Maine Juvenile Code Title 15 of the Criminal Statutes:  The part of Maine’s laws that deals specifically with juvenile issues.

Maximum Age: The oldest age that a person can be sentenced as a juvenile is 21 years; most frequently it is to age 18 years.

Misdemeanor: A minor crime that is less than a Class C crime (e.g., simple theft, assault, criminal mischief) and not a Civil Violation.

MVYDC: Mountain View Youth Development Center.

NFS/NFA (No Further Supervision/No Further Action):  The JCCO has looked into the charge and dealt with it informally.  NFS/NFA notice is sent to the victim, DA and referring police department. Victim and the DA have the right to override this determination and have the charge sent to court.

Petition: When a JCCO feels that a charge needs to go to court, the JCCO signs a Petition Authorization request and sends it to the DA’s office.  If the DA’s office agrees, they will petition the court to the charge.

Probation: A legal status in which the juvenile has been adjudicated of a crime and placed on probation. It can only be imposed by a court and has a set time limit which is established by the court.

Probation Violation: When a JCCO feels that a juvenile has violated one or more conditions of probation they can either arrest the juvenile if the violation is serious enough and fits the purpose and criteria of detention, or they can serve the juvenile with a Probation Summons.  The summons will state what the violation is and a court date on which the juvenile must appear or a warrant will be issued. Only a JCCO can decide to give a Probation Violation. Violations can also be handled informally with the power of the JCCO.

Project IMPACT (Interagency Model Project for Academic and Correctional Transition): A program funded by the Department of Education to assist the juvenile correctional facilities and school administrative units in planning for the transition of juveniles back into the community education programs.

Reclassification Conference: A meeting held for each juvenile returned to a juvenile facility for violating the conditions of the juvenile’s Community Reintegration Plan.

Release:  When a juvenile has been committed to a facility and completed the prescribed treatment, he/she will be released back to the community on aftercare status.  If the juvenile is doing well, the JCCO can request that the youth be discharged from the juvenile system. The juvenile will automatically be discharged when they reach their maximum date.

RCA (Regional Correctional Administrator):  There is one RCA for each of the three DOC regions. 

RCC (Regional Resource Coordinator): There is one RCC in each of the three DOC regions. They are responsible for any financial contracts in the region.  The RRCs are also responsible for helping JCCOs with case planning.

SAU (School Administrative Unit): The State-approved unit of school administration for public K-12 education in Maine.

School Reintegration Team: The school team required by Title 20-A M.R.S.A., §1055, sub-§12.  This team is comprised of an administrator for the school administrative unit; at least one classroom teacher to whom the student will be assigned or who is involved in the school’s student assistant team; a parent, guardian, or custodian of the student; and a guidance counselor.  The team is responsible for carrying out reintegration planning for juveniles returning to that community from commitment to one of the Department of Corrections’ juvenile facilities.

SCR (Supervised Conditional Release):  The legal status imposed by the court after initial appearance, a detention or a Probation Violation. It is signed by a judge and the juvenile and will list the conditions.

Section 504: The section of the federal Rehabilitation Act that requires school administrative units to make accommodations for students identified with a disability that do not require special education but do require accommodations to participate in their general education program.

“Shock Sentence”: A disposition imposed by the court requiring a juvenile to serve up to 30 days in a juvenile facility

Therapeutic Leave: The juvenile has been committed to a facility but is released to a therapeutic placement. They can quickly be returned to the facility if they are found to be in violation of the placement.

Technical Violation or Status Violation: A violation of a probation that does not include the commission of a new crime, i.e. curfew violation, skipping school. This may result in a probation violation if the JCCO feels it is warranted.

UTT (Unit Treatment Team): The multi-disciplinary team responsible for managing a juvenile’s case plan while the juvenile is a resident of Long Creek Youth Development Center or Mountain View Youth Development Center.  The team monitors behavior and treatment progress, controls advancements within the system, and recommends action to the Classification Committee.  Membership comprises the Juvenile Program Manager of the resident’s unit, the unit psychologist and psychiatric social worker, the resident’s Juvenile Community Corrections Officer, the resident’s coach, the assigned mental health clinician, the assigned substance abuse clinician, a medical services representative and an education representative, and may include other individuals if indicated.

Violation:  When the conditions of probation or aftercare are not followed; may result in commitment or re-commitment to a juvenile facility. A violation may be technical (e.g. a curfew violation), or a new criminal offense.

Warrant:  A document issued by a judge for the purpose of holding a person so that they may be brought before the court. With juveniles it usually includes a clause that allows the JCCO to release them to a JCCO-approved placement that meets the least restrictive clause in the juvenile code.

YSL/CMI:  Youth Level of Services-Case Management Inventory:  An assessment done on every youth connected to a JCCO that looks at factors that are known to increase the chances of a youth committing another crime. Those factors are then addressed in the juvenile’s case plan.