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Juvenile Court

Juvenile Court

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Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Act is based on Balanced and Restorative Justice. This concept recognizes that justice can only be served when the community, offender, and the victim each receive balanced attention to their needs. Balanced and Restorative Justice practices seek to promote safe and secure communities and to transform juvenile offenders into responsible members of our society. The Juvenile Court System hopes that juvenile offenders will understand the impact of their crimes, accept responsibility for their actions, express remorse for the harm they caused, act to repair that harm, and develop skills to behave productively and responsibility.

  • Community Protection: Each person who lives, works or studies in Adams County has the right to be and feel safe. Public Safety begins with crime prevention. If a crime is committed, the juvenile must be prevented from offending again.
  • Accountability: When a juvenile commits a crime, it injures individual people and robs the community of its peace and dignity. The youth has an obligation to take responsibility for his/her actions, and to restore the victim, to the extent possible, to the pre-crime status.
  • Competency Development: In addition to preventing a juvenile from re-offending, the juvenile justice system must aid young people in acquiring skills to become contributing members of Adams County.
Restoration may include but not limited to: 
  • Victim input in each stage of the prosecution
  • Juvenile offender is ordered to pay restitution.
  • Community service as ordered by the judge.
  • An apology from the Juvenile offender
  • Opportunities for youth to learn, work, and play as a responsible citizen in Adams County
  • Admission: When the juvenile tells the court that he or she committed the offense charged. 
  • Affiant: Any responsible person capable of taking an oath, who signs, swears to, affirms, or when permitted by these rules, verifies a written allegation.
  • Allegation: The document completed by a law enforcement officer that is necessary to allege a juvenile has committed an offense.
  • Disposition: A final determination made by the court after an adjudication of delinquency or any determination that ceases juvenile court action on a case.
  • Expungement: Juvenile records may be expunged five years after the child’s discharge from court supervision.
  • Intake Conference: A meeting scheduled with a probation officer prior to a hearing to inform the juvenile of the charges and of their rights.
  • Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP): A mentoring program for youth at risk of educational failure, dropping out of school, or involvement in delinquent activities.
  • Juvenile: A person who has been alleged to have, upon or after the juvenile’s tenth birthday, committed a delinquent act before reaching eighteen years of age.
  • Probation: When the juvenile is found to have committed an offense, and is placed under court-ordered supervision.
  • Proceeding: Any stage in the juvenile delinquency process occurring once a written allegation has been submitted.
  • Summons: A notice that charges have been filed against the juvenile and directs a person, along with a parent or guardian, to appear before the court at a specified date and time.
  • Victim Impact Statement: A statement submitted to the court by the victim explaining the physical, emotional, and psychological harm the offense has created.

Image of Juvenile Court flowchart