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REVITALIZING THE CODE: 
Delinquency and Competency 
Randee J. Waldman | Barton Child Law & Policy Center 
GCWLA – August 6...
ARTICLE 6: 
DELINQUENCY
Article 6 – Purpose 
The purpose of this article is: 
 
15-11-470 
Consistent with the protection of the public interest,...
Article 6 – The Parties 
Parties are: 
 Alleged delinquent child 
 The State 
Parent, guardian, or legal custodian: 
Rig...
Article 6 – Role of Prosecutor 
 Prosecuting attorney shall conduct 
delinquency proceedings on behalf of the 
State. 
En...
Article 6 – Defense Attorney 
Right to counsel 
 Right to represented by an attorney at all 
proceedings 
 Parent may no...
Chapter 6 – Delinquency Case Timelines 
15-11-472 
Complaint/Intake 
If Child Is Not In Custody: If Child Is In Custody: 
...
Article 6 - Intake 
15-11-510 
At intake, child shall be informed of: 
 Contents of complaint 
 Nature of the proceeding...
Article 6 – Detention Assessment 
15-11-505 
 Detention assessment must be administered 
by intake officer 
'Detention as...
Article 6 – Place of Detention 
15-11-504 
 May be detained in: 
Licensed foster home 
Home approved by the court 
Home o...
Article 6 – Detention Hearing 
15-11-506 
 Shall be held no later than: 
2 business days if custody without arrest warran...
Article 6 – Detention Decision 
15-11-503 
 Probable cause 
 Clear and convincing evidence that freedom 
should be restr...
Article 6 - Bail 
15-11-507 
 Same right to bail as adults 
Only at intake or detention hearing 
 May release on bail if...
Article 6 - Petition 
15-11-520-523 
 Shall be filed by an attorney (prosecuting attorney or 
designee) 
 Timing: 
No la...
Article 6 - Arraignment 
15-11-511 
 Shall be scheduled within 30 days of the filing 
of the petition (non-detained) 
 C...
Article 6 – Failure to Appear 
15-11-532 
 Parent fails to appear or bring child 
Court may issue a rule nisi ordering pe...
Article 6 – SB440 
15-11-560 
 No change to exclusive jurisdiction offenses 
 Voluntary manslaughter, aggravated sodomy,...
Article 6 – Transfer to Superior Court 
15-11-562 
 Factors for the Court to consider in making transfer decision: 
Age 
...
Article 6 – Transfer to Superior Court 
15-11-562-564 
Reports/Evaluations 
 Probation report developing available inform...
Article 6 - Adjudication 
15-11-580 & 582 
Timing 
 If detained, within 10 days after the filing of 
petition 
 If not d...
Chapter 6 – Disposition Options 
Everyone 
Order for dependent child - not temp DFCS custody 
Counseling for child and par...
Article 6 – Disposition Options 
15-11-601 
Felony/Misdemeanor(+) 
“Everyone” options 
Facility/institution/camp for delin...
Article 6 – Designated Felonies 
15-11-602 
 Order made within 20 days of disposition hearing 
 Risk assessment to be co...
Article 6 – Designated Felonies 
 Behavioral Health Evaluations: 
The Court SHALL order and give consideration to 
the re...
Article 6 – DF Disposition Options 
15-11-602 
Class B Designated Felony 
If restrictive 
custody not 
required  
felony/...
Article 6 – DF Disposition Options 
15-11-602 
Class A Designated Felony 
If restrictive 
custody not 
required  
felony/...
Article 6 – DF Disposition Options 
15-11-602 
Developmental disability 
 If ordered confined to restrictive custody, but...
Article 6 – Designated Felony Classes 
Class A Designated Felony Acts 
 Aggravated assault or assault with a 
deadly weap...
Additional Noteworthy Changes 
 Law enforcement officer may detain child for reasonable period of 
time sufficient to con...
ARTICLE 7: 
INCOMPETENT TO PROCEED
Article 7 – Definitions 
15-11-651 
 Incompetent to proceed: 
Lacking sufficient present ability to understand the 
natur...
Article 7 – General Provisions 
15-11-652 
 Applicable in CHINS and delinquency 
proceedings 
 Competency evaluation may...
Article 7 – Competency 
Evaluation 15-11-653 
 Written report shall be submitted within 30 
days of court’s order (extens...
Article 7 – Competency Hearing 
15-11-655 
 Within 60 days after court order for evaluation 
 Burden on child 
 Standar...
Article 7 – Competence May Be 
Remediated 15-11-656 
 Court may dismiss without prejudice or order 
competency remediatio...
Article 7 – Unrestorably 
Incompetent 15-11-658 
 Court shall: 
Dismiss the petition 
Appoint a plan manager 
Order that ...
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Revitalizing the Code: Delinquency & Competency

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Randee J. Waldman presents the revisions to Article 6 and 7 of the revised Juvenile Code of Georgia. These revisions address youth intake, detention, adjudication, and disposition. It also addresses determining competency of youth to be adjudicated.

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Revitalizing the Code: Delinquency & Competency

  1. 1. REVITALIZING THE CODE: Delinquency and Competency Randee J. Waldman | Barton Child Law & Policy Center GCWLA – August 6, 2013
  2. 2. ARTICLE 6: DELINQUENCY
  3. 3. Article 6 – Purpose The purpose of this article is:  15-11-470 Consistent with the protection of the public interest, to hold a child committing delinquent acts accountable for his or her actions, taking into account such child’s age, education, mental and physical condition, background, and all other relevant factors, but to mitigate the adult consequences of criminal behavior;  To accord due process of law to each child who is accused of having committed a delinquent act;  To provide for a child committing delinquent acts with supervision, care, and rehabilitation which ensure balanced attention to the protection of the community, the imposition of accountability, and the development of competencies to enable such child to become a reasonable and productive member of the community;  To promote a continuum of services for a child and his or her family from prevention of delinquent acts aftercare, considering, whenever possible, prevention, diversion, and early intervention, including an emphasis on community based alternatives;  To provide effective sanctions to acts of juvenile delinquency; and  To strengthen families and to successfully reintegrate delinquent children into homes and communities.
  4. 4. Article 6 – The Parties Parties are:  Alleged delinquent child  The State Parent, guardian, or legal custodian: Right to notice Right to be present in the courtroom Opportunity to be heard at all stages DJJ: Notice of the disposition hearing 15-11-474
  5. 5. Article 6 – Role of Prosecutor  Prosecuting attorney shall conduct delinquency proceedings on behalf of the State. Entitled to complete access to all court files, probation files, hearing transcripts, delinquency reports, and any other juvenile court records.  Filing of petition (“attorney”) 15-11-473
  6. 6. Article 6 – Defense Attorney Right to counsel  Right to represented by an attorney at all proceedings  Parent may not waive right to be represented  Child may not waive if liberty is in jeopardy Access to records  Judge shall issue an order for dependency, school and health or mental healthcare records Upon motion Written consent of child 15-11-475
  7. 7. Chapter 6 – Delinquency Case Timelines 15-11-472 Complaint/Intake If Child Is Not In Custody: If Child Is In Custody: Petition Alleging Delinquency Within 30 days of complaint or 30 days after release Arraignment Hearing Within 30 days of filing the petition Adjudication Hearing Within 60 days of filing the petition Disposition Hearing Within 30 days of adjudication hearing Detention Hearing (arrest warrant = 5 business days) (no arrest warrant = 2 business days) Petition Alleging Delinquency Within 72 hours of detention hearing Adjudication Hearing Within 10 days of filing the petition Disposition Hearing Within 30 days of adjudication hearing
  8. 8. Article 6 - Intake 15-11-510 At intake, child shall be informed of:  Contents of complaint  Nature of the proceedings  Possible consequences or dispositions  Due process rights Right to an attorney Privilege against self-incrimination Right to remain silent Right to confront and cross-examine witnesses Right to testify Right to compel other witnesses to attend and testify Right to speedy adjudication hearing Right to appeal and be provided with transcripts
  9. 9. Article 6 – Detention Assessment 15-11-505  Detention assessment must be administered by intake officer 'Detention assessment' means an actuarial tool, approved by the board and validated on a targeted population, used to make detention decisions and that identifies and calculates specific factors that are likely to indicate a child's risk to public safety pending adjudication and the likelihood that such child will appear for juvenile proceedings for the act causing the detention decision to be made. (49-4A-1)
  10. 10. Article 6 – Place of Detention 15-11-504  May be detained in: Licensed foster home Home approved by the court Home of non-custodial parent or relative Facility operated by licensed child welfare agency Secure or non-secure residential facility If 15 or older, may be held in jail for up to 24 hours if certain conditions are met  Placement shall be in the least restrictive facility
  11. 11. Article 6 – Detention Hearing 15-11-506  Shall be held no later than: 2 business days if custody without arrest warrant 5 business days if custody with arrest warrant Probable cause “review” within 48 hours  At detention hearing, court shall inform child of: Contents of complaint or petition Nature of the proceedings Right to make an application for bail Possible consequences or dispositions Due process rights
  12. 12. Article 6 – Detention Decision 15-11-503  Probable cause  Clear and convincing evidence that freedom should be restrained, that no less restrictive alternatives will suffice, and that: May inflict serious bodily harm Demonstrated pattern of theft or destruction of property such that detention is required to protect the property of others Secure his or her presence in court
  13. 13. Article 6 - Bail 15-11-507  Same right to bail as adults Only at intake or detention hearing  May release on bail if the court finds: Poses no significant risk of fleeing jurisdiction or failing to appear in court Poses no significant threat or danger to any person, to the community or to any property in the community. Poses no significant risk of committing any felony pending trial Poses no significant risk of intimidating witnesses or otherwise obstructing administration of justice
  14. 14. Article 6 - Petition 15-11-520-523  Shall be filed by an attorney (prosecuting attorney or designee)  Timing: No later than 72 hours after detention hearing Within 30 days of filing of complaint  Contents (new requirements): Place of detention at time taken into custody If child is charged with Class A or Class B designated felony act  Amendments: Prior to hearing After jeopardy, shall not be amended to include new charges
  15. 15. Article 6 - Arraignment 15-11-511  Shall be scheduled within 30 days of the filing of the petition (non-detained)  Court shall inform child of: Contents of petition Nature of the proceedings Possible consequences or dispositions Due process rights  Represented child may enter an admission  Child whose liberty is not in jeopardy may waive right to counsel
  16. 16. Article 6 – Failure to Appear 15-11-532  Parent fails to appear or bring child Court may issue a rule nisi ordering person to show cause Failure to appear in response to order to show cause results in bench warrant  Child 16 or older Bench warrant  Child 14 or 15 who willfully refuses to appear Bench warrant
  17. 17. Article 6 – SB440 15-11-560  No change to exclusive jurisdiction offenses  Voluntary manslaughter, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation or aggravated sexual battery may be transferred to juvenile court by Superior Court judge. Treated as Class A designated felony act Appealable by the State
  18. 18. Article 6 – Transfer to Superior Court 15-11-562  Factors for the Court to consider in making transfer decision: Age Seriousness Protection of community Violence or aggressive or premeditated manner Culpability of child (level of planning and participation) Repetitive pattern of offenses indicating beyond rehabilitation in JJ Record and history Sophistication and maturity Program and facilities available Whether child can benefit from treatment or rehabilitative programs available to juvenile court
  19. 19. Article 6 – Transfer to Superior Court 15-11-562-564 Reports/Evaluations  Probation report developing available information relevant to transfer criteria  Court may order transfer evaluation of clinical status Admissibility  Statements made during evaluation or at hearing only used as impeachment or rebuttal evidence Appeals  Decision to transfer is an interlocutory judgment and may be appealed by either party
  20. 20. Article 6 - Adjudication 15-11-580 & 582 Timing  If detained, within 10 days after the filing of petition  If not detained, within 60 days after the filing of petition Understandable Language  Court shall address the child in language understandable to the child in order to determine whether the child is capable of understanding such statements about his or her rights If capable, denial or admission
  21. 21. Chapter 6 – Disposition Options Everyone Order for dependent child - not temp DFCS custody Counseling for child and parent/guardian Supervised probation including probation management Unsupervised probation Studies  High School diploma or equivalent Community service Restitution Fines (traffic offenses) Suspension of driver’s license 15-11-601
  22. 22. Article 6 – Disposition Options 15-11-601 Felony/Misdemeanor(+) “Everyone” options Facility/institution/camp for delinquent children Commitment to DJJ Up to 30 days in secure residential facility or treatment program provided by DJJ or juvenile court **Applicable for felonies and misdemeanors if child has at least one prior felony adjudication and at least three other prior adjudications for a delinquent act.
  23. 23. Article 6 – Designated Felonies 15-11-602  Order made within 20 days of disposition hearing  Risk assessment to be completed  Order to include: Finding, based on preponderance of evidence, whether restrictive custody required If low risk, written findings as to why placement in restrictive custody is necessary Written findings as to each of the following factors:  Age and maturity  Needs and best interest of child  Record, background and risk level of child  Nature and circumstances of offense  Need for protection of community  Age and physical condition of the victim
  24. 24. Article 6 – Designated Felonies  Behavioral Health Evaluations: The Court SHALL order and give consideration to the results before ordering a DF child to restrictive custody 15-11-475 15-11-477
  25. 25. Article 6 – DF Disposition Options 15-11-602 Class B Designated Felony If restrictive custody not required  felony/misd.(+) options Initial DJJ custody up to 36 months, no more than 18 months in restrictive custody Moderate/High Risk Child  at least half of period in secure residential facility, remainder at DJJ discretion Low Risk Child  non-secure residential facility (“shall” or “may”?) Intensive supervision after confinement (not to exceed 6 months)
  26. 26. Article 6 – DF Disposition Options 15-11-602 Class A Designated Felony If restrictive custody not required  felony/misd.(+) options Initial DJJ custody up to 60 months Confined in secure residential facility for period set by order Intensive supervision after confinement (not to exceed 12 months)
  27. 27. Article 6 – DF Disposition Options 15-11-602 Developmental disability  If ordered confined to restrictive custody, but diagnosed with DD and not amendable to treatment in a secure residential facility, DJJ may transfer to non-secure residential facility Must notify prosecuting attorney and judge Mandatory secure confinement  Serious physical injury upon person 72 or older Credit for time served  All time spent in secure or non-secure residential facility shall be counted toward confinement period Early release  May be filed every 6 months
  28. 28. Article 6 – Designated Felony Classes Class A Designated Felony Acts  Aggravated assault or assault with a deadly weapon that resulted in serious injury  Aggravated battery  Armed robbery (no firearm)  Arson (first degree)  Attempted murder  Escape if previously Class A or B  Hijacking a motor vehicle  Kidnapping  Criminal gang activity (most types)  Trafficking of substances  Fourth felony adjudication if one was a felony crime against a person or a sexual offense Class B Designated Felony Acts  Aggravated assault or assault with a deadly weapon that did not result in serious injury  Arson (second degree)  Attempted kidnapping  Battery against school personnel  Racketeering  Robbery  Gang related graffiti  Smash and grab burglary  Destructive device and hoax device crimes  Second car theft  Second possession of a handgun  School weapons violations  Fourth felony adjudication 15-11-2(12&13)
  29. 29. Additional Noteworthy Changes  Law enforcement officer may detain child for reasonable period of time sufficient to conduct interrogations or perform routine law enforcement procedures (i.e. fingerprinting and photographing)  15-11-502(b)  Victims’ rights  Entitled to same rights, notices and benefits as the victim of crime committed by adult (victim impact)  15-11-481  Notice regarding release from detention for DF acts.  15-11-508  Jeopardy attaches:  Denial  first witness sworn  Admission  Court accepts admission  11-15-480
  30. 30. ARTICLE 7: INCOMPETENT TO PROCEED
  31. 31. Article 7 – Definitions 15-11-651  Incompetent to proceed: Lacking sufficient present ability to understand the nature and object of the proceedings, to comprehend his or her own situation in relation to the proceedings, and to assist his or her attorney in the preparation and presentation of his or her case in all adjudication, disposition, or transfer hearings. Such terms shall include consideration of a child’s age or immaturity.  Competency remediation services Outpatient interventions directed only at facilitating the attainment of the competence to proceed  May include: mental health treatment to reduce symptoms or specialized psychoeducational programming.
  32. 32. Article 7 – General Provisions 15-11-652  Applicable in CHINS and delinquency proceedings  Competency evaluation may be ordered on court’s own motion or on motion of any party, GAL, parent/guardian  If child under 13 is alleged to have committed a serious violent felony, competency evaluation must be ordered  Court must appoint attorney prior to evaluation  Competency evaluation stays all proceedings
  33. 33. Article 7 – Competency Evaluation 15-11-653  Written report shall be submitted within 30 days of court’s order (extension may be granted)  If not competent, report should include: Opinion as to primary cause of incompetency (immaturity, mental illness, developmental disability or a combination) Opinion as to whether substantial probability will attain competency in foreseeable future
  34. 34. Article 7 – Competency Hearing 15-11-655  Within 60 days after court order for evaluation  Burden on child  Standard of proof  preponderance of evidence  Examiner considered the court’s witness and subject to cross-examination by child’s attorney and prosecuting attorney
  35. 35. Article 7 – Competence May Be Remediated 15-11-656  Court may dismiss without prejudice or order competency remediation services. Court shall consider: Probable cause Nature of incompetency Age Nature of alleged act  If competency remediation services ordered, court retains jurisdiction: Felony  up to 2 years with review hearings at least every 6 months Misdemeanor  up to 120 days  If detained in secure or non-secure residential facility: Order releasing within 5 days
  36. 36. Article 7 – Unrestorably Incompetent 15-11-658  Court shall: Dismiss the petition Appoint a plan manager Order that procedures that a comprehensive services plan be initiated under Article 5 (CHINS)

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