Our Juvenile Division handles the prosecution of all the juvenile crimes in our parish, as well as referrals to the Families in Need of Services (FINS) matters. Depending on the age of the offender and the circumstances of each case, some of these types of cases can initially be handled without court action by an Assistant District Attorney, who may make a referral to the intake department of the Office of Juvenile Justice. Attempts at rehabilitation are generally made by placing the offender on probation, including conditions specifically catered to each case after court action. If these attempts are not successful, or if the initial crime is of a heinous nature, then the juvenile offender can be ordered into the custody of the Office of Juvenile Justice for placement in a non-secure or a secure setting. Juvenile delinquency and FINS matters are confidential and closed to the public. It is also possible that juveniles, ages 14 - 16 years, who commit very serious crimes can be transferred to the Adult Criminal Court for prosecution.
Our Children In Need of Care (CINC) Division handles the child abuse and neglect cases in a concentrated effort to protect children from on-going abuse and neglect, working with the State Department of Children & Family Services. These cases are handled in Juvenile Court, although in more serious cases, criminal charges can also be filed against the parent or guardian who perpetrated the abuse. If it is felt that the family can be rehabilitated while leaving the abused or neglected child in the home, then strict measures can be taken to assure that the child is protected in the home setting. If there is a serious threat that the child could be abused again, the child is removed from the home and placed with relatives or in foster care while the rehabilitation process takes place. If rehabilitation is successful, the child can be returned to the home; however, if rehabilitation does not occur, the child can be freed for adoption by terminating the parental rights of the abusive parent. All Children In Need of Care matters are confidential and closed to the public.