When an individual under the age of 17 is accused of a criminal act, he or she is subject to the juvenile justice system. In Wisconsin, juvenile cases are handled by the Division of Juvenile Corrections (DJC). According to Wisconsin’s Juvenile Justice Code, the purposes of the state’s juvenile correction system are to protect the community and equip juvenile offenders with the tools they need to live responsible, productive lives in the years that follow their cases.
If your son or daughter has been charged with a criminal offense, start working with an experienced criminal defense or family law attorney as soon as possible to build his or her legal defense strategy. A criminal record as a minor can impact an individual for the rest of his or her life.
Within the juvenile correction system, there is a greater emphasis on the rehabilitation and protection of delinquent minors than there is on offenders in the adult justice system.
Juvenile offenders are not convicted of criminal acts, they are adjudicated. Similarly, they are not sentenced but receive dispositions. When an alleged juvenile offender is charged or accused of an offense, he or she is assigned a social worker. This social worker conducts an intake interview, which is a discussion meant to determine which community resources and supervision program would best help the offender. There is a lot of leeway in the juvenile correction system to make it possible for the court to help an offender receive the resources he or she needs for rehabilitation.
In Wisconsin, individuals age 17 and above are subject to prosecution as adults and may be incarcerated in adult jails and prisons if they are found guilty. Minor offenders who are adjudicated and deemed to be in need of supervision in a correctional facility may be kept at one of Wisconsin’s juvenile facilities.
There are two types of juvenile correctional facilities in Wisconsin: Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 facilities include Lincoln Hills School for Boys, Copper Lake School for Girls, and Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center are Type 1 facilities, which are characterized by physical security mechanisms like fences and surveillance systems.
Type 2 facilities exist for offenders who would otherwise qualify for Type 1 facilities if they were not involved in a specific state program such as the Corrective Sanctions Program or the Serious Juvenile Offender Program or had attained Type 2 status by being transferred to a Type 2 residential care center (RCC). These facilities are less restrictive than Type 1 facilities. Individuals in Type 2 facilities can be transferred to Type 1 facilities without court orders to do so.
Criminal defense for alleged juvenile offenders is much different from defending alleged adult offenders. If your child has been charged with a criminal offense, start working with an experienced juvenile defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact our team of lawyers at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to set up your initial consultation with a member of our team.