Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Oregon’s legislative policy and purpose related to court services recognizes the county juvenile courts and departments as a basic foundation for the provision of services and to assist counties with financing certain court-related services. The section entitled "Juvenile court; state policy... has due process elements and incorporates the Indian Child Welfare Act.  The section “Purpose of juvenile justice system in delinquency cases; audit of programs" aligns with BARJ, as it is based on accountability and restitution to victims. It adds subsections for open, accountable systems to the people of Oregon and elected representatives, and that programs, policies, etc. are subject to audit (program, performance), which are not usually included within purpose clauses, but consistent with BARJ juvenile justice system accountability.

34 OR ST § 419A.045; § 419B.090; §419C.001

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 Oregon, practices vary by county. The juvenile court typically develops 'alternative procedures' involving law enforcement and county juvenile department staff that serve as intake officers (JPO’s). Law enforcement 'citations in lieu of custody' are usually for status-offense level offenses and referred to the prosecutor's (DA) office.  When a juvenile is taken into custody by law enforcement, and not taken home to parents within 5 hours, the law enforcement officer can take the youth to detention or shelter, a court-authorized private facility, or otherwise in accordance with the alternative procedure. Release decisions and pre-adjudication dispositions can be made by a court designee at a hearing, which is required within 36 hours of being detained.

Otherwise, JPO’s screen reports and for most violations, determine whether referrals can be made to diversion programs, such as youth court (teen court), mediation, crime prevention or chemical substance abuse education programs, and whether a conditional Formal Accountability Agreement can be used to divert the matter. Some serious crimes are excluded unless the DA consents to divert, including certain felonious sex offenses, violations involving firearms, and referrals for 2nd (or more) felonious act/s, etc. Victims must also be consulted upon their request or for any violent felonious act before agreements are signed. Once the agreement is written and signed by the child, parent, and child’s counsel, the JPO or designee (diagnostic assessment agency or organization) monitors progress for up to a year.  The JPO can revoke the agreement if the juvenile fails to carry out terms or commits a subsequent offense. If revoked, the agreement can be modified or extended up to 6 additional months with consent of youth and counsel (if any); or JPO may seek authorization from the DA to file the petition. The DA and Attorney General can file petitions directly at any time to bring matters before the judge without additional screening, but the JPO must get consent of the DA before the petition is authorized to initiate a hearing. 

Once a petition is filed, no time limits are specified for pre-adjudication dispositions, though some dispositions are limited by offense category. 

Pre-petition court diversion time limit/s exist.

In Oregon, Formal Accountability Agreements can be set for up to one year and can be modified and extended for 6 additional months. 

Courtroom shackling, 2015

Restricted by judiciary

In Oregon, In re Millican, 906 P.2d 857 (1995) held that juveniles have the same right as adults to appear free from physical restraints, as it inhibits free consultation with counsel (even if not visible, per other adult cases); is consonant with the rehabilitative purposes of the state’s juvenile justice system; etc. The trial judge can order shackling if there is evidence of an immediate and serious risk of dangerous/disruptive behavior. The court must evaluate information and make a record (findings). Information can be presented informally, but more than a prosecutor or law enforcement statement for analysis is required. (Juries are not available in OR juvenile courts)

Competency, 2015

Oregon’s juvenile statute aligns with the Dusky Standard for youth “unfit to proceed in a petition alleging [delinquency]” if as a result of mental disease or defect or another condition. Requirements proscribe who may conduct the evaluation and criteria for the determination.

  • 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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