In Los Angeles County, the probation department is tasked with overseeing juveniles caught up in the justice system. Whether in residential halls or camps, or while under probationary supervision, these officers are responsible for supervising youths and ensuring their safe passage through the various juvenile justice programs. A report from the LA Times, however, has uncovered some serious allegations of misconduct from these very officials.
Four years ago Robert Taylor was put in charge of the juvenile probation department and basically told to clean things up. While The Times calls Taylor “more proactive than his predecessors”, complaints continue to come in about the officers under his control.
It seems, however, this may be a situation of several bad apples giving the agency a bad name, as not all juvenile probation officers in the county are ruthless. Many, I am sure, got into the field to help youth rather than further their descent into delinquency.
Not all children in the justice system are destined to become criminals. Often, kids make mistakes and they pay for them. Being stigmatized is difficult enough without officials attempting to take advantage of those youth that are in a vulnerable situation.
When your child is accused of a crime or status offense in the state of California, the probation department plays a very big role in the outcome of their case. Determining if your child will be “petitioned” to court is a large responsibility of the probation office.
If you are a juvenile accused of a crime or if you are a parent of such child, a defense attorney within the juvenile system can be a great asset.
The juvenile justice system is vastly different from the California criminal system. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, juvenile criminal offense can land you in adult court.
Knowing exactly what you are up against and the potential outcomes is something your attorney can assist you with. If you or your child is caught up in the system, call me today for a free consultation.