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Linn County Juvenile Department


What is The Juvenile Justice System?

  The juvenile justice system is the system in charge of dealing with juvenile crime. The juvenile system concentrates on holding youth accountable for their actions, keeping the public safe and repairing the harm done in the community. If your child has been contacted by the police they will not be treated exactly the same as an adult who has contact with the police.


After police respond to a situation where a youth may have committed a crime, they will do one of the following

 * Release the youth to their parent or guardian

 * Take the youth into custody and transport them to the Linn-Benton Detention Center

 * Place them in a shelter care facility

What happens after my child has contact with police?

  After your child is first taken into custody or has contact with a law enforcement agency, the police officer or sheriff’s deputy will write a report and send it to the Linn County Juvenile Department. This is known as a “referral”. The juvenile department will assign your child’s case to a Probation Officer who will meet with you to explain the process further and to help you understand all of your options. The Juvenile Department’s response may vary by individual youth based on their history with the department and Oregon Statute. If your child is transported to detention, they may have a court hearing or be released within 36 hours of being processed into detention. You may visit your child while he/she is in detention.


How long will the process take?

   If your child is taken into custody, you will be contacted immediately. If the police write a report that says your child may have committed a crime, the juvenile department will typically contact you within two weeks of receiving the report to set up an appointment for you to come in with your child and meet with a Probation Officer. The juvenile department works hard to handle cases in a timely manner.

What is my role as the parent or guardian of the youth?

   The parent or guardian plays a very important role in the juvenile justice process. Unlike adults, youth are usually dependent on family members who have a large influence on their choices. The partnership between the parent/guardian and the Probation Officer can have a BIG impact on the youth’s success. The staff at the juvenile department rely on the input of the parent/guardian to help the youth and family through the juvenile justice process.

Right to have an attorney:

   You have the right to an attorney for you and your child, at your own expense, during any point in the process. Once your child’s case has been assigned to a Juvenile Probation Officer, you may discuss the possibility of a court appointed attorney with them.