Juvenile Supervision Unit
Pre-disposition, the juvenile unit monitors juveniles with court ordered, pretrial release conditions; completes court ordered reports to assist the court in making informed, evidence based decisions, and provides information and coverage for detention hearings as needed.
Post-disposition, the unit supervises juveniles placed on probation or parole for offenses ranging from petty-misdemeanor to felony. The youth assigned to the juvenile unit can range in age from ten to twenty-one, if designated extended jurisdiction juvenile (EJJ). The unit utilizes the Youth Level of Service / Case Management Inventory (YLS / CMI) risk / needs assessment for all delinquents to determine their level of supervision and assist in case planning. Delinquents are assigned to a probation officer based on the school they attend, or if not enrolled in school, the city in which they reside. Non-delinquents are assigned to an administrative caseload whereby they receive support and referral to complete their court-ordered conditions. Probation officers work collaboratively with the juvenile, their family, school staff, Health and Human Services, if applicable, and service providers to provide support and accountability in an effort to improve outcomes for the youth and their family.
The mental health screening is completed pursuant to Minnesota Statute and is a brief questionnaire to detect potential mental health problems. The unit utilizes the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument (MAYSI-2), and for those youth who identify exposure to a traumatic experience(s) on the MAYSI-2, the University of Minnesota's Traumatic Stress Screen for Children and Adolescents (TSSCA) is also completed. Together these tools assist probation officers in assessing whether a youth could benefit from a referral to a mental health professional, and whether a mental health professional trained in trauma focused-cognitive behavioral therapy is warranted. Research shows that early identification and intervention improves the quality of life for children and their families with reduced cost of services.
The juvenile unit utilizes a variety of community-based resources to address the juvenile's risk and needs while under supervision. These resources include, but are not limited to:
- Anger management programming
- Cognitive restructuring
- Community work service / juvenile work crew
- Defensive driving
- Drug / alcohol education
- Impact panels
- Independent living
- Mental health services
- Social skills
- Theft prevention
- Various chemical dependency
When community-based services are not appropriate, or do not meet the juvenile's needs, an out-of-home placement may be considered. Out-of-home placement options vary in length, and range from non-secure foster care to a secure juvenile correctional facility.
Sherburne County Community Corrections works collaboratively with the County Attorney's Office who typically refers all first time, low-level offenses for pre-charge diversion. Successful completion of the diversion program allows the juvenile to avoid prosecution, the formal court process, and a legal record. Diverting low risk juvenile from the formal court process can improve outcomes and reduce costs while holding youth accountable. The requirements of a diversion may include:
- Apology letter
- Community work service
- Education program
The Diversion Payable Program is a diversion option for tobacco and curfew violators. The juvenile is assessed a fee based on their history of tobacco and/or curfew offenses. The juvenile is given 30 days to pay and are only referred to court if they fail to pay or upon their request. All fees collected through this program are credited to the department's juvenile restitution account and distributed through the Restitution Reimbursement Program.
Safe Schools is a collaborative effort between the school district, various Sherburne County Departments and city/community agencies. Through Safe Schools we have been able to improve communication, expand our resources and partnerships, and establish a greater support network for the schools and the community.
Out-of-Home Placement (OHP) Costs
The department has continued to be very successful in reducing and stabilizing our department's OHP expenses.
The department's OHP expenses are included in Health and Human Services (HHS) overall budget. The department provides input regarding projected probation OHP costs to which HHS is the fiscal host.
Per Minnesota Statutes 260.B157 Subdisision 3, the department and HHS have an established and formalized juvenile screening team. The purpose of the screening team is to ensure both departments conduct screenings and case plans for all juvenile probation offenders who may be placed out of the home for more than 30 days for treatment of an emotional disturbance, developmental disability, or chemical dependency in a residential treatment facility.
The department works very closely with HHS to attempt to reduce Sherburne County's overall OHP costs while continuing to provide protection to the community and provide appropriate evidence based community-based services / referrals to youth at risk.