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Juveniles are subject to a system that seeks to rehabilitate rather than punish individuals.  It is actually civil and not criminal in nature, however, all of the rules and protections for adult offenders apply except for the right to a jury trial.  The juvenile justice system has a series of rungs; when a person is initially charged they be subject to only a station house adjustment for relatively minor offenses, meaning that the police can simply investigate the case and then decide to intervene and address the underlying charges and decide not go forward with it.  The second rung is a juvenile conference committee which is a more formal procedure which takes place.  When charged, the juvenile must appear before the committee which then decides what punishment should be given for the offense.  It only applies if the juvenile is willing to admit to the wrongdoing.  The next, and more serious, rung is the probation intake case where the matter is actually sent to the Superior Court in the county in which the juvenile resides and a probation officer evaluates the case.  If the juvenile admits to the wrongdoing, they are placed on probation for a period of time.  The most serious proceeding is a matter that is brought before a juvenile court judge for either an entry of a plea or a trial.

With a Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) client it includes either a parents or anyone who has been charged with either an abuse or neglect of a child that is anyone under the age of 18, allegations can be for physical, emotional or sexual abuse.  The Division has the ability to remove children from households and to interfere with the parents’ right to exercise custody.  The Division can demand that individuals undertake certain type of services. Children can actually be physically removed from their parents and placed into foster care.

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