Judicial selection, 2022

  • Elected

  • Appointed

  • Combination

Judicial specialization, 2022

  • All mixed case types

  • Mostly mixed

  • Mostly specialized

Caseload assignment, 2022

  • Mixed assignment methods

  • Individual discretion

  • Statute/State court rules

Judicial experience, training, and tools, 2022

  • Qualification Requirements

  • Required Annual Training

  • Required Risk/Need Assessments and Pre-Dispositional Reports

  • Juvenile Justice Bench Books

Courtroom shackling, 2015

Restricted by legislature

Utah statute UT ST § 78A-6-122 requires that a juvenile may not be restrained during a court proceeding unless authorized by the rules of the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council Rule 4-905  states that a minor present in a juvenile courtroom shall not be restrained unless the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that restraints are necessary:

  1. to prevent physical harm to self/third party;
  2. [because the juvenile] presents a flight risk;
  3. is currently in jail/prison or a secure facility;
  4. the seriousness of the charged offense warrants restraints; [or]
  5. [another] good cause.

Any person with an interest in the case may move the court to restrain the minor during court; and every person with direct interest in the case has the right to be heard (to contest). If the court orders restraints, the matter must be reconsidered at each future hearing. Ex parte communications are ‘not prohibited’, but the judge/commissioner must notify all other parties ASAP and provide an opportunity to respond. 

Competency, 2015

In Utah, the Juvenile Code (of statutes) has a sub-part devoted to juvenile competency. Delinquency proceedings must be stayed while the evaluation is pending. Formal evaluations must be conducted by a mental health examiner with experience in juvenile forensic evaluations, juvenile brain development, intellectual disability (if indicated), and not otherwise involved in the child’s current treatment. If the judge finds the juvenile is “not competent to proceed” (due to a mental disorder, intellectual disability, or related condition) and may attain competency, the Department of Human Services is required to develop a plan of treatment, which is reviewed by the court. If competency is not achieved within one year, the delinquency petition is dismissed without prejudice.

  • No juvenile standard

  • Juvenile standard is the adult standard

  • Juvenile justice standard exists

  • JJ standard includes developmental immaturity

About this project

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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