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9-27-331.  Disposition -- Delinquency -- Limitations.

(a) (1) A commitment to the Division of Youth Services of the Department of Human Services is for an indeterminate period not to exceed the juvenile's twenty-first birthday, except as otherwise provided by law.

(2) An order of commitment shall remain in effect for an indeterminate period not exceeding two (2) years from the date entered.

(3) Before the expiration of an order of commitment, the circuit court may extend the order for additional periods of one (1) year if it finds the extension is necessary to safeguard the welfare of the juvenile or the interest of the public.

(4) The committing court may at any time recommend that a juvenile be released from the custody of the division by making a written request for release stating the reasons release is in the best interests of the juvenile and society.

(5) The length of stay and the final decision to release shall be the exclusive responsibility of the division, except when the juvenile is an extended juvenile jurisdiction offender.

(b) (1) (A) Subsection (a) of this section does not apply to extended juvenile jurisdiction offenders.

(B) The circuit court shall have sole release authority when an extended juvenile jurisdiction offender is committed to the division.

(2) (A) Upon a determination that the juvenile has been rehabilitated, the division may petition the court for release.

(B) The court shall conduct a hearing and shall consider the following factors in making its determination to release the juvenile from the division:

(i) The experience and character of the juvenile before and after the juvenile's disposition, including compliance with the court's orders;

(ii) The nature of the offense or offenses and the manner in which they were committed;

(iii) The recommendations of the professionals who have worked with the juvenile;

(iv) The protection of public safety; and

(v) Opportunities provided to the juvenile for rehabilitation and the juvenile's efforts toward rehabilitation.

(3) The court shall release the juvenile upon a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that the juvenile's release does not pose a substantial threat to public safety.

(c) (1) Unless otherwise stated, and excluding extended juvenile jurisdiction offenders, an order of probation shall remain in effect for an indeterminate period not exceeding two (2) years.

(2) A juvenile shall be released from probation upon:

(A) Expiration of the order; or

(B) A finding by the court that the purpose of the order has been achieved.

(3) Prior to the expiration of an order of probation, the court may extend the order for an additional period of one (1) year if it finds the extension is necessary to safeguard the welfare of the juvenile or the interest of the public.

(d) (1) (A) The court may enter an order for physical, psychiatric, or psychological evaluation or counseling or treatment affecting the family of a juvenile only after finding that the evaluation, counseling, or treatment of family members is necessary for the treatment or rehabilitation of the juvenile.

(B) Subdivision (d)(1)(A) of this section shall not apply to the parental responsibility training programs in § 9-27-330(a)(10).

(2) For purposes of this section, if the Department of Human Services will be the payor, excluding the community-based providers, the court shall not specify a particular provider for family services.

(e) (1) An order of restitution, not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per victim, to be paid by the juvenile, his or her parent, both parents, the guardian, or the custodian may be entered only after proof by a preponderance of the evidence that specific damages were caused by the juvenile and that the juvenile's actions were the proximate cause of the damage.

(2) (A) If the amount of restitution determined by the court exceeds ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for any individual victim, the court shall enter a restitution order for ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in favor of the victim.

(B) Nothing in this section shall prevent a person or entity from seeking recovery for damages in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) available under other law.

(f) Custody of a juvenile may be transferred to a relative or other individual only after a home study of the placement is conducted by the department or a licensed certified social worker and submitted to the court in writing and the court determines that the placement is in the best interest of the juvenile.

(g) (1) If the juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent is also in the custody of the department pursuant to a family in need of services or dependency-neglect petition and the court does not commit the juvenile to the division or order the juvenile to detention, C-Step, or a facility exclusively for delinquents, then any issues regarding placement of the juvenile shall be addressed only in the family in need of services or dependency-neglect case and shall not be an issue addressed, nor shall any orders be entered in the delinquency case regarding placement of the juvenile.

(2) Within ten (10) days of the entry of any order in the delinquency case, the prosecuting attorney shall file a copy of the order in the juvenile's dependency-neglect case.

(h) Custody of a juvenile shall not be transferred to the department if a delinquency petition or case is converted to a family in need of services petition or case.

(i) No court may commit to the division a juvenile found solely in criminal contempt.

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Local Government
Asa Hutchinson
Asa Hutchinson
January 13, 2015 -
425 W Capitol Ave. Suite 1620, Little Rock, AR, 72201