Court Support Services Division

Juvenile Probation Services
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Juvenile Probation provides high quality information to Judges and comprehensive risk and needs assessment and evidence-based services to children and their families to enhance Judicial decision-making, promote behavioral change, ensure compliance with court orders, and increase the chances of successful rehabilitation of juveniles.

The Superior Court for Juvenile Matters has jurisdiction for handling cases of children at least 10 years of age and under 18 years of age (at the time of an alleged offense). When making determinations regarding cases, the Court has a responsibility to consider the child’s best interest as well as the community’s.

Types of Juvenile Referrals

Juveniles may be referred to juvenile court for delinquency-related matters, after having been charged with violating any federal or state law, or an order of the Superior Court, and for juveniles under the age of 16, any municipal or local ordinance (other than an ordinance regulating behavior of a child in a family with service needs).

Types of Case Handling

Delinquency-related matters filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters are referred to Juvenile Probation to determine eligibility for non-judicial handling in accordance with the Connecticut Practice Book.

Prior to January 1, 2023, case handling decisions were based on the delinquency charge. However, this practice was eliminated by amendments to the Connecticut Practice Book requiring Juvenile Probation to screen and base case handling decisions on the child’s risk of recidivism and behavioral health needs, effective January 1, 2023.

Diversion occurs when a child is determined by the risk and behavioral health screenings as low risk to reoffend. The child is diverted from court and referred to community-based diversionary programs, mental and behavioral health providers, and other community-based agencies offering needed services with no further court intervention.

Non-Judicial Handling is utilized when child is determined by the risk screen as moderate risk to reoffend. The child must admit responsibility for the alleged offense, and both the child and their parent agree to cooperate with the Juvenile Probation Officer to have the matter handled non-judicially. All non-judicial cases are placed on supervision with services referral to address child’s identified risk and needs for up to six months. If a child fails to cooperate with the non-judicial supervision agreement, a petition may be filed by the Juvenile Probation Officer, with supervisory approval to move forward on the original delinquency charge.

Judicial Handling Handling is utilized when a child is determined by a risk screen to be at the highest level of risk to reoffend; more serious charges are involved; the child is not willing to admit responsibility and/or their parent(s)/guardian refuses to cooperate with the Juvenile Probation Officer; or the child is currently on probation supervision. In these instances, the child appears before a judge, and a state’s attorney is involved in the case.

Types of Dispositions / Sentencing

Charges can be dismissed with or without referral for services, discharged from the court's jurisdiction with or without a warning, or nolled. Additionally, juveniles adjudicated as delinquent may be discharged from any further court accountability, placed on traditional Probation Supervision or Probation with Residential Placement.

As a condition of Probation or Probation with Residential Placement, the court may order that the child: reside with a parent, guardian or in a suitable residence approved by the Court; attend school and classes and comply with school policies; participate in community-based programming; obtain technical or vocational training; make a good faith effort to obtain and maintain employment; make reasonable efforts to keep all appointments scheduled by the Juvenile Probation Officer, evaluators and therapists; submit to random drug or alcohol testing; participate in drug or alcohol treatment; cooperate with medical or psychiatric evaluations or treatment; participate in a program of community service; refrain from violating any federal or state law or municipal or local ordinance; initiate no contact with any victim of the offense; make restitution to the victim of the offense; participate in community service; obey graduated responses imposed by the Juvenile Probation Officer; cooperate and remain in any court-ordered residential program until discharged; and satisfy any other conditions deemed appropriate by the Court.

Role of Juvenile Probation Officers

Juvenile Probation Officers are the identified case managers and work with the child and family during the pre-adjudicatory process through the post-adjudication.

Juvenile Probation Officers collaborate with the child and family to complete mental health and trauma screenings and risk and needs assessments. They write pre-dispositional studies and make recommendation to the Court for conditions of probation and program/service referrals including psychological and psychiatric evaluations. Additionally, Juvenile Probation Officers provide pre- and post-adjudication supervision and make referrals to services based on the juvenile’s risk and needs. They also investigate and supervise non-judicial cases.

Once cases are adjudicated, the Juvenile Probation Officer with the child and their parent(s)/guardian will work together to identify and target risk areas by developing a case plan with goal of reducing risk and increasing protective factors as well as monitor court orders and conditions of supervision and arranges for additional services. In the event a child violates their supervision, the officer may implement a wide range of graduated responses and when necessary, file violation of probation/supervision petitions. Should the need arise, and the child poses a risk to public safety, the Juvenile Probation Officers will seek Take into Custody Orders/warrants which authorize the police to place a child in one of two locked Juvenile Residential Centers (Hartford and Bridgeport) in the state. The Juvenile Probation Officers remains involved in all additional court hearings, provide pretrial supervision of juveniles placed under suspended detention orders as well as make recommendations for case disposition.

A team of Juvenile Probation Supervisors and Officers are available after business hours to:

  • respond to after-hours electronic monitoring alerts and calls regarding clients who abscond or fail to return after an authorized leave to a court-ordered residential placement,
  • complete and process Take into Custody Orders,
  • respond to law enforcement requests for information for Orders to Detain, and
  • addressing any issues requiring an immediate probation response or notification.

Specialized Juvenile Probation Officer Caseloads

Gender Responsive Juvenile Probation Officers

Since 2007, Gender Responsive Juvenile Probation Officers have been assigned in each court location. Each gender officer receives extensive training in the specialized needs of girls including but not limited to the effects of trauma, human trafficking, special education advocacy, family mediation and the facilitation of girl’s group meetings. They have also been trained to handle cases identified for early intervention. In August 2013, Gender Responsive Officers began working collaboratively with system partners to meet the needs of children 12 years old or younger and their families, by providing access to community-based interventions and diversion from future juvenile justice involvement.

R.E.S.T.O.R.E. Cases

In 2012, Juvenile Probation launched R.E.S.T.O.R.E. (Reaching, Engaging, Strengthening, Teens to build Opportunities and Relationships to End Violence), a pilot program designed to address the behaviors and respond to the needs of probation supervision clients identified as gang-involved or having a history of violence. Specialized units were established in the New Haven, Bridgeport, Hartford, and Waterbury Juvenile Courts. In September 2021, the model was redesigned and establish a R.E.S.T.O.R.E. supervision classification for clients placed on Suspended Detention Orders due to weapons-based or violent offenses. R.E.S.T.O.R.E. clients are supervised by Juvenile Probation Officers and referred to local violence interrupter programs during the pendency of their case.

For information on Juvenile Probation please contact Director Tasha Hunt