Legally Permissible Uses of Juvenile Detention

One of the many unique features of the juvenile justice system is the law related to the permissible uses of detention. Called secure custody in the Juvenile Code, placement of a juvenile in detention is permitted only when specifically authorized by statute. This post reviews the legally allowable circumstances for the use of juvenile detention. If the situation of a particular juvenile does not match any of these circumstances, then the juvenile cannot be ordered to be held in a detention facility. Note that detention applies only to juveniles who are the subject of delinquency or undisciplined proceedings and is never permitted in an abuse, neglect, or dependency action.

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