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Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Minnesota's purpose of laws related to children alleged or adjudicated delinquent is short and aligns with BARJ as it promotes public safety and "developing individual responsibility for lawful behavior pursued through means that recognize the unique characteristics and needs of children...and opportunities for personal and social growth," though it does not directly mention accountability to victims.

MN ST §260B.001

Intake and diversion, 2016

Initial intake and court diversion decision is at the discretion of the prosecutor or the juvenile court intake officer, divided by offense.

In Minnesota, when a law enforcement officer takes custody of a child alleged delinquent or a petty offender, the child may be released home and summoned to appear in court via a parent. If the child must be detained in a secure or non-secure facility, the court must issue a transport order. Once detained in a juvenile facility (secure or non-secure), a detention hearing and petition must be filed within 36 business hours; or if detained at an adult jail or lockup within 6 hours if in an urban location, or within 24 business hours in rural areas.

Other complaints/petitions can be filed by any person but must be verified at intake. Requirements vary by county. County attorneys may draft petitions upon showing of reasonable grounds, and county prosecutors (DA) may or must file delinquency petitions for felonious allegations that request extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecutions, depending on the situation. DA‘s must establish or participate in a pretrial diversion program for juveniles and make decisions on whether to refer the juvenile to a diversion program in lieu of filing a petition. Upon successful completion, the delinquency petition may be dismissed or will not be filed. Statutory requirements are few, but conditions include a screening process for needs related to D&A, counseling, community, education, and performance measurements.

Once a delinquency petition is filed (without EJJ designation), and allegations are admitted or proven, but before a finding of delinquency is entered, the court may continue the case for one year (with a 6 month interim review) with consent of the DA. The court may dismiss petitions or terminate jurisdiction at any time.

Post-petition court diversion time limit/s exist.

In Minnesota, pre-petition diversions vary by county and have no statutory time limit.  Post-petition cases can be continued for 6 months plus another 6 months with consent of the DA. 

Courtroom shackling, 2015

No statewide restriction

In Minnesota, bills were introduced in 2015 (H 714 /SF 994 and H 1069)

Competency, 2015

In Minnesota, the statutory definition of a “child in need of protection or services” includes the ground “when a child has been found incompetent to proceed.” Court Rules of Juvenile Delinquency have provisions which align with the Dusky standard. Procedures following a finding of incompetency are segmented according to the severity of offense. When the judge finds probable cause that the act occurred, murderous allegations cannot be dismissed for incompetency alone. All other cases must be dismissed within 1 year or 3 years (if felonious), unless the prosecutor files an intent to prosecute once restored to competency.

  • 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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