Purpose clauses, 2016
Due process era
Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)
Vermont’s purpose clause for juvenile judicial proceedings, effective 2009, retains some parens patriae language, phrases from the Legislative Guide for Drafting Family and Juvenile Court Acts (1969) of the due process era, and phrases from the Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997) were also noted. The clause meets criteria for BARJ as it assures balanced attention to community protection, accountability to victims and the community, and competency development. It also states that the juvenile [code] supercedes provisions of criminal law if inconsistent.
33 VT ST §5101
Intake and diversion, 2016
Initial intake and diversion decision is at the discretion of the prosecutor.
In Vermont, when law enforcement issues a citation to appear before a judicial officer in lieu of arrest, the state’s attorney (DA) will file a petition at least 10 days before the preliminary hearing. The attorney general administers diversion programs that comport with rules adapted from Vermont’s Commission on the Administration of Justice. Each DA works with the diversion project to develop clear criteria for deciding what types of offenses are eligible for reparative board or community justice (BARJ) programs.
Once the petition for delinquency is filed, the DA has discretion to refer the matter to diversion programs once the court finds probable cause but before adjudication. Diversion programs are considered alternatives to incarceration. The child may be subject to protective supervision as part of a conditional custody order, where the Department for Children and Families monitors compliance. Following successful completion of the diversion program, the state attorney can withdraw the petition and the court automatically seals records after two years when there are no new or further proceedings or subsequent felony or misdemeanor convictions.
No statutory time limit/s for diversion exist.
In Vermont, time limits for diversion are not specified in statute.
Courtroom shackling, 2015
Restricted by legislature
Vermont statute 33 V.S.A. § 5123 (eff. 5/21/09) relates to transportation, requiring agency supervisory approval to use mechanical restraints for each child, and states further that “It is the policy of the State of Vermont that mechanical restraints are not routinely used on children subject to this chapter unless circumstances dictate that such methods are necessary.” This statute must be considered indirectly, as it does not specifically mention the courtroom, where judges maintain discretion.
In Vermont, the supreme court held that “an incompetent juvenile cannot be found delinquent without violating the basic concepts of due process of law” [In re J.M., Juvenile, 769 A.2d 656 (2001)]. Court Rules for Family Proceedings refers to Criminal Court Rule/s that permits the (juvenile) court to order “reasonable mental examination by a psychiatrist or other expert’ when the defendant gives notice that sanity is at issue or other expert testimony relating to a mental disease, or defect or any other mental condition of the defendant bearing upon the issue of his guilt.
No juvenile standard
Juvenile standard is the adult standard
Juvenile justice standard exists
JJ standard includes developmental immaturity
Sex offender registration, 2015
Does not register