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Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Missouri’s purpose clause is short and aligns closely with the parens patriae language found in the Standard Juvenile Court Act (1959).

12 MO ST §211.011

Intake and diversion, 2016

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

In Missouri, if a child is taken into custody by law enforcement for alleged delinquency or being a child in need of care or treatment for status offenses (truancy, runaway, etc.), within 24 hours the court may release the youth or order the detention continued until a detention hearing, which must be held within 3 days of when detained (excluding weekends and holidays).

Otherwise, when a delinquency or status offense complaint is received from any person, and the child is not detained, the intake officer (JPO) will conduct a preliminary inquiry to determine facts and legal sufficiency. When the matter appears to be within the jurisdiction of the court, the JPO may decide to ‘counsel and warn’ and close the matter, make an informal adjustment to divert from court involvement, or authorize filing a petition by the juvenile officer. JPO’s develop agreements with the juvenile, juvenile’s attorney, and parent/s. Conditions of informal adjustment agreements can include: restitution, community service under supervision of the court or designated agency. Upon successful completion, the petition is not filed. If the family denies the court’s jurisdiction, requests court involvement, or terms are violated, the juvenile officer will file a petition for judicial intervention. Once a petition is filed, local court rules are followed.

No statutory time limit/s for court diversions exist.

In Missouri, there is no statutory time limit, though the statute provides for court rules that may vary by jurisdiction.

Courtroom shackling, 2015

No statewide restriction

Competency, 2015

Missouri relies on ‘Rules Relating to all Juvenile Proceedings’ as the legal authority for juvenile competency determinations. The rule provides that when the matter is raised upon petition or motion, the court may order a physical or mental examination to aid the court with, (among other matters) “the competence to participate in the proceedings”, and “whether the juvenile is in a fit condition to proceed”. A comment of the court rule cross-references a(n adult) penal code chapter of Criminal Proceedings Involving Mental Illness, which aligns more specifically with the Dusky standard, but may not be binding.

  • 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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