STATE PRISON AND COUNTY JAILS
JUVENILE CORRECTIONS ACT
20-501. Legislative intent. (1) It is the policy of the state of Idaho that the juvenile corrections system will be based on the following principles: accountability, community protection, and competency development. Where a juvenile has been found to be within the purview of the juvenile corrections act, the court shall impose a sentence that will protect the community, hold the juvenile offender accountable for his actions, and assist the juvenile offender in developing skills to become a contributing member of a diverse community. It is the further policy of the state of Idaho that the parents or other legal guardians of the juvenile offender participate in the accomplishment of these goals through participation in counseling and treatment designed to develop positive parenting skills and an understanding of the family’s role in the juvenile offender’s behavior. It is the further intent of the legislature that the parents of the juvenile offender be held accountable, where appropriate, through monetary reimbursement for supervision and confinement of the juvenile offender and restitution to victims of the juvenile offender’s delinquent acts. In enacting this legislation, the legislature finds that the juvenile corrections system should encompass the following aspects: diversion, day treatment, community programs, observation and assessment programs, probation services, secure facilities, aftercare, and assistance to counties for juvenile offenders not committed to the custody of the department of juvenile corrections.
(2) The following is a brief description of what the legislature intends to become the components of Idaho’s juvenile corrections system:
(a) Diversion. An alternative to formal prosecution of a juvenile offense. Diversions seek to hold a juvenile accountable for his actions through various interventions while redirecting youth away from formal processing in the juvenile justice system.
(b) Probation. Probation officers have twenty-four (24) hour on-call responsibility for juvenile offenders and monitor their activities on a continual basis. Probation officers are responsible for assisting juvenile offenders and their families in accessing counseling or treatment resources, close supervision of juvenile offenders’ activities, supervision of restitution, and coordination of other services provided to juvenile offenders. Juvenile offenders ordered into the custody of the department of juvenile corrections would be monitored by a county probation officer.
(c) Day treatment. Day treatment programs are time-limited nonresidential treatment and educational programs. Included in these programs may be trackers who provide intensive supervision of juvenile offenders through daily contact and by counseling juvenile offenders regarding employment, education, courts, family, and life skills. Nonresidential alcohol and drug programs provide outpatient assessment and counseling for juvenile offenders with substance abuse problems.
(d) Community programs. It is intended that community programs will exist throughout the state to provide residential supervision and treatment options to juvenile offenders in close proximity to their families and their community. It is intended that these programs will strengthen the juvenile offender’s relationship with family, engender a commitment to school and employment, promote the development of competency and life skills, and help juvenile offenders generalize appropriate behavior into their environment.
(e) Observation and assessment. Regional observation and assessment centers are provided, either directly or on a contract basis, to conduct observation and assessment of the juvenile offender in a short-term residential experience. It is intended that these programs would maintain standardized home and daily routines with intensive daily programming.
(f) Secure facilities. Secure facilities provide secure confinement, discipline, education and treatment of the most seriously delinquent juvenile offenders. Programs at the secure facilities are designed to help juvenile offenders recognize accountability for delinquent behavior by confronting and eliminating delinquent norms, criminal thinking, and antisocial behavior and by making restitution to victims through community service or other restitution programs.
(3) It is the further intent of the legislature that the primary purpose of this act is to provide a continuum of programs that emphasize the juvenile offender’s accountability for his actions while assisting him in the development of skills necessary to function effectively and positively in the community in a manner consistent with public safety. These services and programs will individualize treatment and control of the juvenile offender for the benefit of the juvenile offender and the protection of society. It is legislative intent that the department of juvenile corrections be operated within the framework of the following principles to accomplish this mission:
(a) Provide humane, disciplined confinement to a juvenile offender who presents a danger to the community.
(b) Strengthen opportunities for the juvenile offender’s development of competency and life skills by expanding the juvenile offender’s access to applicable programs and community resources.
(c) Hold juvenile offenders accountable for their delinquent behavior through such means as victim restitution, community service programs and the sharing of correctional costs.
(d) Invoke the participation of the juvenile offender’s parent or legal guardian in assisting the juvenile offender to recognize and accept responsibility for his delinquent or other antisocial behavior and hold the parent accountable, where appropriate, through the payment of detention costs and restitution to victims and through attendance at programs for the development of positive parenting skills designed to promote a functional relationship between the juvenile offender and his family.
(e) Develop efficient and effective juvenile correctional programs within the framework of professional correctional standards, legislative intent and available resources.
(f) Provide for a diversity of innovative and effective programs through research on delinquent behavior and the continuous evaluation of correctional programs. Innovative and effective programs should be evidence-based, as demonstrated through empirical research.
(g) Assist counties in developing meaningful programs for juvenile offenders who have come into the juvenile corrections system but who have not been committed to the custody of the department of juvenile corrections.
(h) Provide programs to increase public awareness of the mission of the juvenile corrections system and to encourage public participation in developing an effective juvenile corrections system designed to aid in reducing juvenile crime in this state.
(i) Develop and maintain a statewide juvenile offender information system.
[(20-501), added 1963, ch. 319, sec. 1, p. 876; am. 1984, ch. 81, sec. 2, p. 149; am. 1989, ch. 155, sec. 1, p. 372; am. and redesig. 1995, ch. 44, sec. 2, p. 68; am. 2012, ch. 19, sec. 1, p. 39; am. 2012, ch. 257, sec. 5, p. 710; am. 2021, ch. 18, sec. 1, p. 41.]