Regarding referral of a juvenile to the JRB, my chief believes that an officer should issue a juvenile a juvenile summons and then forward the report to me to review. If I feel that the case is worthy of going to the JRB then I contact the juvenile and his/her family and tell them not to go to court. Not sure if we can do this. I spoke to a prosecutor who stated that we could not do this and that once a juvenile is arrested that they should be presented in court.In my opinion, once a Summons is issued and sent to the court it then becomes a court matter and it is out of the hands of the police. Until it gets sent to the court however, it is a matter of police discretion.
The concept of a JRB is to give the police another option between doing nothing, other than warn the child, and sending the matter to court. If that decision isn't made until after the Summons is served, but before it is sent to the court, I don't think it matters. It does not become a "court case" until it is received by the court. Since the family must be in agreement that the case be handled by the JRB rather than the court, I don't think the family would complain about the sequence of events.
So I don't have a problem with what your chief is suggesting. The officer can put a court date on the Summons that goes out far enough for you to decide about referring the case to the JRB. Or, the officer can hold off on issuing the Summons until you review it. Either way, as long as the Summons is not sent to the court, the court doesn't even know it exists and it is within the discretion of the police how they wish to respond to the incident.
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