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Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Michigan’s purpose clause is found within its Definitions; nature of proceedings; and construction of chapter section. The applicable sub-sections are very short and align with parens patriae language found in the Standard Juvenile Court Act (1959).

MI ST §712A.1

Intake and diversion, 2016

Initial intake and diversion decision is at the discretion of the juvenile court intake officer.

After questioning the child and investigating allegations, Michigan permits a law enforcement officer (LEO) to meet with the child and parent/s specifically to propose a voluntary diversion agreement instead of filing a petition with the court. If the child is taken into custody and detained by a local or state police officer, sheriff, deputy sherriff, county agent or probation officer, the child and parents 'shall immediately be brought before the court for a preliminary hearing'.  The judge (referee) may authorize filing the complaint or petition pending a hearing. 

Otherwise, once a complaint or petition is received by the court from any person, the court intake officer (JPO) will screen the complaint/petition. Assaultive offense allegations exclude the matter from diversion. After the preliminary investigation, the JPO can meet with the juvenile and parent/s to propose a diversion agreement instead of filing or authorizing filing the petition to bring the matter before the judge. Steps are identical to those the LEO would take to make the decision, and statutory factors are listed for consideration, including: the nature of the offense, problem/s leading to the alleged offense, the child’s age, character, behavior, and any priors. The written plan must state that the child was released to the custody of the parent/s and that the youth and parent/s agree to work with the identified person, public agency or private organization to assist with resolving the problem that initiated the investigation. The agreement must be signed by the youth and parent/s, and is filed with the court. Upon successful completion, the petition will not be filed or authorized. Diversion records must be expunged when the juvenile is 17 years + 28 days old. JPO can file or authorize filing petitions except certain (felonious) juvenile violations that must be filed by the DA.

Once a petition is filed, after finding of fact, the court may warn the juvenile and dismiss the petition, and may ‘stay the adjudication’ under certain conditions. The judge may also order an alternative sentence or delay imposing a sentence or order of disposition and place the juvenile on on probation or under supervision.

No statutory time limit/s for court diversions exist.

In Michigan, there are no statutory time limits.

Courtroom shackling, 2015

No statewide restriction

Competency, 2015

Michigan’s Juvenile Code (of statutes) has sections related to juvenile competency for delinquency proceedings, which align with the Dusky standard. Provisions include procedures for hearings, examinations, treatments, timelines, and application to certain offenses. Qualified Juvenile Forensic Mental Health Examiners must base the evaluation on the “juvenile adjudicative competence interview (JACI)” or another interview method approved by the court The number of hearings and juveniles found incompetent to proceed is reported to the state court administrator. A juvenile less than 10 years of age is presumed incompetent to proceed.

  • No juvenile standard

  • Juvenile standard is the adult standard

  • Juvenile justice standard exists

  • JJ standard includes developmental immaturity

Sex offender registration, 2015


About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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