The Judiciary has released a guide for parents and guardians designed to assist families of juveniles with delinquency matters before the courts.
“This booklet attempts to provide parents and guardians with information on the juvenile justice system in a plain-language format,” said Judge Glenn A. Grant, acting administrative director of the courts. “The hope is this information will assist caregivers to obtain information and knowledge about their most immediate and critical concerns and will enable them to make more informed decisions about how they can best help their child.”
Developed by the Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns, the booklet provides basic information about court procedures that relate to juvenile delinquency matters. The information is arranged in a simple question-and-answer format to help parents, guardians and other family members learn about how juvenile matters are resolved by the courts. The booklet answers questions about whether children in juvenile matters need attorneys, whether bail is available for juveniles who have been detained, and what types of court events will be held to determine the resolution of the court case. For easy reference, the booklet has a glossary of legal terms used in juvenile cases and selected contact information for each county.
Juvenile delinquency cases involve violations of the law by youth under the age of 18. The courts determine how the case will be resolved by weighing factors such as the age of the child, the seriousness of the offense, the history of prior offenses, and the willingness of the parties to cooperate. Some cases are heard by judges, while others might be resolved by alternative means such as a juvenile referee or a juvenile conference committee.
The booklet is available in all Superior Court courthouses and online at judiciary.state.nj.us.