Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Oklahoma has a general provisions section and another section related to delinquent children and powers and duties of the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA).  The general clause retains some parens patriae and due process era language, including that of the Legislative Guide for Drafting Family and Juvenile Court Acts (1969).  They align with BARJ, and a 2013 amendment added a statement that the system will rely upon individualized treatment and best practice for rehabilitation and reintegration. 

10A OK ST §2-1-102; §2-7-503

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 Oklahoma, community intervention centers can hold juveniles for an alleged violation of a municipal ordinance, state law, or alleged to be in need of supervision for up to 24 hours without involving the court. Juveniles can also be referred to community-based programs for screening, services, etc. to prevent placement.

Once a complaint is received by the court, the JPO conducts a preliminary inquiry to screen complaints. The JPO makes the decision whether to screen out, divert, or authorize filing the petition. Diversion services are offered to children who are at risk of being adjudicated “in need of supervision”. Diversion services are provided by outside agencies as designated by the district courts, juvenile bureaus, and/or court employees. If it is determined that no further action related to a delinquency complaint is necessary, the intake worker may make an informal adjustment. If allegations were felonious, the consent of the DA is required. For informal adjustments to occur, the child must have no previous delinquency adjudications and stipulate that the allegations are true or that sufficient evidence exists to meet the burden of proof required for the court to sustain the allegations. 'Alternative diversion programs' refers to programs provided by agencies under contract with OJA to juveniles who have been identified by law enforcement, the district attorney (DA), or the court as having committed acts which are not serious enough to warrant adjudication through the juvenile court process, but indicate a need for intervention to prevent further development toward juvenile delinquency.

Once a delinquency petition is filed, the court may defer delinquency adjudication proceedings for up to 180 days when the child has previous delinquency adjudication and stipulates that the allegations are true or that sufficient evidence exists to meet the burden of proof required for the court to sustain the allegations. The court may refer to an alternative diversion program, other court-approved service, and/or require counseling, community service, drug or alcohol education or treatment, vocational training, behavioral health evaluation/treatment, restitution (paid by parent, child, or both) or any other activity beneficial to the child/family. Upon successful completion, the court will dismiss the case with prejudice. The court may also defer sentences to order “Alternatives to secure detention” which refers to services and programs including temporary confinement in facilities in lieu of secure detention.

Post-petition court diversion time limit/s exist.

In Oklahoma, there is no statutory time limit for pre-petition court diversions. Once a petition is filed and the juvenile stipulates or was adjudicated, proceedings can be deferred for 180 days to complete conditions and the matter can be dismissed with prejudice. Sentences can be deferred for an unspecified amount of time.

Courtroom shackling, 2015

No statewide restriction

Competency, 2015

Oklahoma’s Juvenile Code of statutes presumes youth age 13 or older and alleged delinquent are competent to proceed, unless found to be developmentally disabled, developmentally immature, intellectually disabled, or mentally ill. The statute has very detailed sections for competency proceedings, related evaluations, reviews and resumption of proceedings.

  • No juvenile standard

  • Juvenile standard is the adult standard

  • Juvenile justice standard exists

  • JJ standard includes developmental immaturity

Sex offender registration, 2015


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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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