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Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Nevada’s purpose clause is short and aligns with parens patriae language found in the Standard Juvenile Court Act (1959).  It adds the purpose of promoting preventive programs in lieu of the court’s jurisdiction.

NV ST §62A.360

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 Nevada, when a child is taken into custody by the peace officer or JPO, the child can be released to the parent upon written agreement to bring the child before the juvenile court (designee) at a specified time, and the juvenile court is notified. If detained, the child must be brought before the juvenile court or court-designated facility, which will notify the (court-designated JPO) hearing officer. The court may release, conditionally release to supervised detention (electronic surveillance), or continue detention pending further order of court. A petition must be filed and complaintents are represented by the DA.

Otherwise, when a complaint is received, the county probation officer (JPO) conducts a preliminary investigation and screens the complaint for whether a petition should be filed/authorized or if the matter can be referred for “informal supervision”. If the JPO recommends filing a petition, it is forwarded to the DA who makes the decision whether to file the petition. If recommending informal supervision, the JPO may proceed with misdemeanor-level offenses, and must seek approval from the DA for gross misdemeanors or felonious allegations. Once any needed approval is obtained, JPO notifies the complaintent that informal supervision is being planned, but the complaintent may ask the DA to review the matter (and file a petition). To begin a course of informal supervision, the child must admit to participation in alleged acts and the child and either an attorney or parent (if not respresented) must agree to written terms and conditions set by the JPO. Conditions can include performing community service, restitution to victims through work (paying fees, insurance, etc.), and/or completing a program of cognitive training and human development for up to 180 days and some elements require DA consent. Petitions can be filed by the DA at any time unless a judge dismisses the petition upon successful completion of the agreement.

Once a petition is filed, the the court may refer the child for JPO “informal supervision” (which can be appealed by the JPO or DA) or place the child “under supervision of the court pursuant to a supervision and consent decree” upon recommendation of the JPO, approval of the DA, and consent/approval of the child and parent. Consent decree agreements can include placement. For a consent decree related to prostitution, sexual exploitation services and sexual assault counseling are required. Petitions are generally dismissed upon successful completion or can be extended to age 18, or longer when the child wishes to extend jurisdiction (usually for housing, job/education, or other services.)

Pre-petition court diversion time limit/s exist.

In Nevada, informal supervision programs can go for 180 days.  Consent decrees have no statutory time limit.

Courtroom shackling, 2015

Restricted by legislature

Nevada’s Assembly Bill 8 (law, not yet codified) 62D NRS, prohibits use of restraint on a child during a court proceeding unless necessary to prevent harm to self/others or to prevent escape from the courtroom. ‘Whenever practical’ the judge shall provide the child/child’s counsel and prosecuting attorney the opportunity to be heard prior to the order. Criteria is specified for necessity determination (demonstrated behaviors/plans, prior use) which must include specific findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Competency, 2015

Nevada’s juvenile statute aligns with the Dusky standard for juvenile competency. Many sections describe criteria for related hearings, examination, and reviews required after a child is deemed “incompetent”. A child may not be certified for criminal proceedings as an adult (or transferred) while incompetent.

  • 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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