New Jersey children and teens can be charged for criminal behavior. Like adults, children are expected to follow the laws that have been passed in the state of New Jersey. When these laws are broken, law enforcement intervenes. And, like adults, children often make mistakes and are charged with crimes. However, unlike adults, juvenile offenders are not automatically placed in the regular criminal justice system. There is a complete criminal justice system for juvenile crimes with its own rules, policies and punishments.
It is important for people to understand the juvenile justice system when their children have been charged with a crime. With this understanding, people can help to ensure that their child’s rights have not been violated during the process. By working with a skilled defense attorney, people can get these protections.
While many aspects of the juvenile justice system are unique, some have a greater impact on a juveniles than others. In particular, the role of secured detention facilities should be understood. Some parents and children may ask — what is secured detention?
According to the Department of Law and Public Safety, after a juvenile has been arrested and charged with a crime — or delinquent act — the proceedings against that child will begin. During the disposition of the case, secured detention may be ordered. Secured detention facilities are temporary housing facilities for children accused of juvenile crimes. They are run by New Jersey counties and supported by the state.
Juveniles can be ordered to stay in these short-term, secured facilities in three situations. One, if the juvenile has been deemed a flight-risk then a secured detention can be ordered. This means that the court is worried the juvenile will not come to further proceedings. Two, if the child deemed a danger to the community then a secured detention can be ordered. Finally, a secured detention can be used for following the disposition of a case if the juvenile is waiting for placement in a different program.