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Navigating the Juvenile Justice System in Pennsylvania: A Guide for Parents and Guardians

NCJ Number
Jessica Feierman Esq.; Emily C. Keller Esq.; Marcia Glickman Esq.; Rachel Stanton
Date Published
35 pages
This guide provides information for parents and guardians as they navigate Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system.
This guide was developed by the Juvenile Law Center to provide information for parents and guardians as they navigate Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system. The guide contains information that will be useful to parents and guardians as they move through each stage of the juvenile justice process with their children. The guide begins with a discussion on the juvenile justice system in Pennsylvania, noting that the purpose of the system is to provide for the supervision, care, and rehabilitation of justice-involved youth to ensure community protection, accountability, and competency development. The remainder of the guide is divided into 13 sections, with the first 2 sections providing 1) general tips for parents and guardians when advocating for their child, and 2) an overview of the juvenile justice process. The next 11 sections of the guide deal with each separate stage of the juvenile justice process: 1) School-Based Referrals To The Juvenile Justice System; 2) Arrest; 3) The Importance Of Your Child's Lawyer; 4) Detention Hearings; 5) Probation Intake; 6) The Delinquency Petition; 7) Adjudication Hearing (Trial); 8) Disposition Hearing (Sentencing); 9) Out-Of-Home Placements; 10) Aftercare Services; and 11) Your Child's Record: What Is Expungement? Why Is It So Important? The guide also contains a list of resources that could be helpful to parents/guardians, as well as a checklist for parents and guardians to use when preparing for meeting with their child's lawyer, probation officer, and other juvenile justice officials.