delinquency supervision? Based on Wisconsin State Statutes the
intent of the legislature is to promote a juvenile justice system
capable of dealing with the problem of juvenile delinquency, a system
that will protect the community, impose accountability for violations of
law and equip juvenile offenders with competencies to live responsibly
and productively. Delinquency supervision is managed by social workers
through the Department of Human Services-Delinquency Services Unit. It
involves the protection of citizens from crime, holding youth
accountable for their behavior and provision of treatment/services to
build competencies. Social Workers oversee the behavior of juveniles in
their home, school and community environments (supervision is similar in
many situations to adult probation).
Why do I have to come
to Human Services for being alleged delinquent? Per
Wisconsin State Statues Human Services agencies are required to provide
Intake and Disposition services to youth and families involved in the
juvenile delinquency system. La Crosse County HSD-DSU is similar to what
probation and parole is for adult criminal offenders. For more
information on the process of juvenile court intake and disposition
please refer to the pages tilted “Referral
Process,” and “Terminology.”
on-call intake? La Crosse County Delinquency Services provides
intake services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the purpose of
screening juveniles taken into custody and not released. Intake Workers
determine whether a juvenile should be held in juvenile detention
(secure or non-secure). Law enforcement does not have direct authority
in the placement of juvenile’s in detention as they have with adults in
jail determination. Juvenile detention must be authorized by an intake
What can I
do if my child is out of control? If a child is out of control, and
a parent(s) is in need of assistance, they have several options.
Parent(s) may look into services through various agencies throughout the
community including but not limited to, individual counseling, family
counseling, group programs, psychiatry (medication), etc. Should outside
professional help prove not effective, parent(s) may contact Human
Services and request assistance in seeing a social worker to determine
if their situation meets state law and County requirements/criteria for
JIPS (Juvenile in Need of Protection and Services) jurisdiction. Court
proceedings could take place and a parent(s) would need to be willing to
sign a petition to the facts that meet the requirements/criteria for
JIPS jurisdiction. Should a Judge find that the youth is in need of
protection or services, the youth will be placed on JIPS Supervision,
and a social worker will manage the case and arrange services for the
youth and family to best meet their needs. The social worker will also
have the ability to hold the youth accountable for not following the
courts JIPS order.
How can my
child be charged with a crime, if no one talked to me? Law
enforcement does have the ability to meet with and discuss a youth’s
possible involvement in a criminal act without a parent being present.
As a result, it is possible that a juvenile can be alleged delinquent
for a criminal offense and referred to the Department without a parent
being of such knowledge until notified of an Intake Inquiry.
How come a
17 year old can be charged in adult court on a criminal offence, but is
kept in juvenile court for missing school? This type of situation is
not uncommon, but this circumstance is a result of Wisconsin State Law.
Truancy is not a criminal offence and would fall under the jurisdiction
of JIPS (Juvenile in Need of Protection or Services). Youth ages 17 and
above are only dealt with in adult criminal court for criminal offenses.
Attendance in school is mandatory until the age of 18 by State Law.
adjudication as a juvenile affect my record/future? As a juvenile, a
youth’s criminal record is considered confidential. In applying for
employment it is not required that a juvenile indicate on a job
application that they have been adjudicated (convicted) for a felony or
any other offense. A juvenile should be aware that their juvenile record
can be used for court matters when the juvenile becomes an adult and
there are certain circumstances in which the juvenile’s criminal record
may be attainable by the United States Government/Military. The United
States Military typically requires signed releases of information to
inquire about juvenile delinquency records.
Why does my
child have to have an attorney? Children under the age of 15 are
required by state law to be represented by an attorney in juvenile court
proceedings. Children 15 years of age and older may decline assignment
of an attorney.
Do I need
an attorney for an Intake Inquiry? No. You may have an attorney at
an Intake Inquiry Interview, but it is not required.
happens if we decline to be involved in an Intake Inquiry Interview
and/or Pre-Trial Conference? Should a youth decline involvement in
an Intake Inquiry Interview, the juvenile referral (police report), will
be submitted to the District Attorney’s office for review, determination
of and/or possible prosecution in juvenile court. A Pre-Trial Conference
is an opportunity for the alleged juvenile and his/her attorney to
discuss the case with the District Attorney’s office and determine the
route in which the case will be handled. Failure to attend a Pre-Trial
Conference only forfeits the juvenile’s opportunity to discuss the
possibility of other options.
represent my child in court instead of an attorney? Parents are
allowed at and may take the opportunity to address the court with
information or concerns they have regarding the interest of their child
at juvenile court proceedings, but are not allowed to be legal
representation for their child.
Why can’t I
control what happens with my child and his/her attorney? A juvenile
has the right to an attorney. The attorney assigned to a juvenile case
is there to represent the juvenile and not the juvenile’s parent(s).
Should a juvenile not want their parent(s) involved with his/her
juvenile court defense, the attorney has to abide by their clients
request. Parent(s), on their own, may inform the court of their
opinions, concerns, or other information they have regarding the case,
including what they would like to see happen with their child. A parent
can retain their own attorney at their own expense.
Can I say
anything at a court hearing? Parent(s) are allowed at juvenile
court hearings and may address the court with information and concerns
they have regarding the welfare and disposition of their child.
parent, should I have an attorney? Parent(s) are not required to
have an attorney for juvenile court matters. The decision as a parent to
attain an attorney is a personal decision.
Can you get
my child treatment for drug use? La Crosse County HSD-DSU can
require youth on delinquency supervision or JIPS supervision to
participate and cooperate with AODA treatment if such issues are related
to the delinquent/uncontrollable behavior of a youth. The Department can
refer youth and parents to AODA treatment providers should the youth not
be on supervision with the Department, yet the Department would be
unable to hold the youth accountable for not following through with
AODA treatment can include outpatient individual counseling, outpatient
family counseling, outpatient group programming, support groups such as
AA, short-term in-patient treatment, and long-term in-patient treatment.
In- patient facilities include but are not limited to Libertas and
Can I get
my child into AODA in-patient treatment without his/her agreeing?
Yes, although the process can be difficult. Parents may attempt to have
their youth placed in AODA In-Patient Treatment on an involuntary basis
through AODA In-Patient facilities, yet it is the facilities decision
based on their own evaluation as to whether a youth is admitted into
such a placement. Also, parents may attempt to have their youth
committed involuntarily into AODA In-Patient Treatment through the court
system. A commitment typically relies on what is called a Three Party
Petition submitted to La Crosse County Court/Intervention Services, who
in turn determines whether the petition meets State law criteria for
AODA In-Patient Commitment. Should the petition be determined
appropriate the Court/Intervention Department submits the petition to La
Crosse County Corporation Counsel for court arrangements. A Judge must
determine if there is sufficient information to suggest that a
commitment is necessary.
Do we still
have to pay juvenile detention bills or public defender fees if our
child is not found delinquent? Why? Yes. Whether a child is
adjudicated delinquent or not within the juvenile court system, if a
child had the services of an attorney, such services require payment. If
a child spent time in juvenile detention, being placed in such a
facility and the services require payment.
How can I
as a parent be held responsible/liable for damages, when it has already
been established that I cannot control my kid? Per state law
parent(s) may be liable for damages to property or loss of property, as
well as personal injury to a victim due to the actions of their child.
The amount of recovery from parent(s) depends upon which statue applies
to the delinquent act. Whether a parent(s) has control over a child or
not, the parent(s) is still considered responsible for their child, and
the actions of their child.
How do I
get my child placed outside my home? La Crosse County Delinquency
Services will not recommend that a child be placed outside of their
parental home unless certain criteria are established, and it is in the
best interest of the child. Children are not placed in alternate care
without substantial attempts at retaining a child in their parental home
through the use of available services, resources, and treatment.
Delinquency Services promotes a community based approach to juvenile
How can I
get my kid into Boot-Camp? Currently, there are no boot camps in the
State of Wisconsin that La Crosse County HSD-DSU can force a youth into,
unless the youth is adjudicated delinquent and needs a juvenile
corrections placement. The Boot-Camp “Youth Leadership Training Center”
(YLTC) no longer exists at Camp Douglas in Wisconsin. YLTC was a
Department of Corrections program that was cut due to State budget
issues several years ago.
Currently there is a short form of a Boot-Camp directly at Lincoln Hills
Boys School in Irma, WI. Lincoln Hills Boys School is a juvenile
corrections facility. On a voluntary basis, youth can enter the
Challenge Academy in Wisconsin, which is located at Fort McCoy.
my kid be detained if I want him/her to be? An Intake Worker must
follow State Statues and have jurisdiction to place a youth in juvenile
detention upon the request of law enforcement. Parents do not have
authority to put their children in juvenile detention per Wisconsin Law.
my kid be placed in secure juvenile detention rather than non-secure
juvenile detention? Juvenile detention is not considered a place of
punishment in the delinquency system, other than, for the use of
short-term detentions (72hr. holds) administered by a Social Worker for
a youth violating a court ordered condition, or through the use of
sanctions ordered by a judge for a youth violating a court ordered
condition. When a youth is placed in juvenile detention as a result of a
criminal offense (being alleged delinquent), an Intake Worker assesses
the situation, taking into account court policy, as to whether a youth
has committed a serious enough offense to hold in secure juvenile
detention for the protection of the community. Minor offenses result in
non-secure juvenile detention placement, or the youth is not detained at
At what age
can my child be emancipated? In the state of Wisconsin, emancipation
is not available at any age.
How do I
get restitution as a victim in a juvenile case? Victims should
receive notice of juvenile hearings and they have the right to make a
statement to the court regarding their circumstances. Victims receive a
Victim Impact Statement form in the mail. Through the use of the form,
victims indicate how this situation has affected them, and they can
indicate a restitution amount for any personal injury, property damage
or loss. Through juvenile supervision, whether informal or formal,
juveniles will be required to pay restitution to the victim(s). Parents
may also be required to pay restitution for the actions of their child.
Juveniles have the length of their juvenile supervision to pay the
requested restitution. Victims do have the right to pursue the
restitution in Civil Court. Juveniles are required to pay restitution to
the County, and the County sends the restitution money to the victim.
Also available to assist crime victims is Crime Victim Compensation that
can be reached by calling 1-800-362-3020.