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The Juvenile Justice Center is always in need of volunteers to mentor a child, assist in tutoring detainees in detention, or to provide the appropriate religious services to detainees while in detention. In addition, a limited number of practicum experiences for students is also provided in the Mental Health and Probation Departments. Please contact Ms. Jennifer Coffman, Director of Human Resources, if you are interested in volunteering or wanting to be considered for practicum experience. Ms. Coffman can be reached at (574) 235-5338.
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If your child is arrested the police will bring them to the Juvenile Rapid Evaluation Center (JREC) to see if they qualify for detention or not.
Once at the JREC an intake officer will assess your child based on the alleged offense, the child’s legal history, any aggravating factors, and any mitigating factors. A determination will be made if the juvenile should be detained, placed on an alternative to detention (ATD), or just released to a parent or guardian.
If the juvenile qualifies for detention, the juvenile will be taken into the detention center and processed. During the detention intake process, a detention officer will try to call you and inform you of your child’s whereabouts. Then you will be allowed to have a short phone call with your child. A probation officer will be assigned to your child’s case at the next business day, and will contact you as soon as they are able. You can call the main probation number, (574) 235-5400, during business hours 9 am to 5 pm, if you have immediate questions.
If your child is assessed and qualifies for an Alternative to Detention (ATD), an officer from JREC will try to contact you and inform you of your child’s location and the next steps. Juveniles that qualify for an ATD are released to their parent or guardian and the juvenile is placed on an alternative to detention which consists of some type of special release conditions that stay in place until the child comes before the court. These release conditions could consist of things like trust house arrest, no contact with victims, bans on visiting particular places, etc. A violation of these release conditions may result in the juvenile being placed in detention. Both the juvenile and parent or guardian will sign an Order to Appear Form. This form assigns the juvenile and parent a court date within 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays. Failure to appear for this hearing may result in body attachments (warrants) being issued for the juvenile and parent or guardian.
If your juvenile is assessed and qualifies to be released, an officer from the JREC will try to contact you and inform you of your child’s location and the next steps. Juveniles that qualify for release are not placed on special release conditions, however, the juvenile and parent or guardian will need to sign a Promise to Appear. The Promise to Appear form is the agreement that the juvenile and parent or guardian will appear if ever summons by the court for this offense.
If you are called to the JREC to pick up your child, be sure to bring some type of photo identification.
The juvenile probation department is open:
To pay probation fees, you must come down to the front desk in the Probation Department at the Juvenile Justice Center. You must provide cash or a money order.