Bill Summary for S 207 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Mar 23 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 207 (Public) Filed Tuesday, March 9, 2021
AN ACT TO IMPLEMENT THE JUVENILE JUSTICE REINVESTMENT ACT BASED ON LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE JUVENILE JURISDICTION ADVISORY COMMITTEE, TO MAKE RELATED CHANGES TO THE JUVENILE CODE, AND TO PROVIDE FOR AN APPROPRIATE MENTAL HEALTH ASSESSMENT TO BE PROVIDED FOR JUVENILES WHO HAVE BEEN ADJUDICATED DELINQUENT.
Intro. by Britt, Daniel, Mohammed.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

Part I

Makes a technical correction to proposed GS 7B-2600(d) regarding the court's jurisdiction to modify any order or disposition made in a case where the court finds a juvenile to be delinquent. 

Part IV

Further amends proposed GS 7B-2200.5(a1) to allow a prosecutor to decline to prosecute in superior court a matter that would otherwise be subject to mandatory transfer under the statute if the juvenile has allegedly committed an offense that would be a Class D felony if committed by an adult. Also allows the prosecutor, prior to adjudication, to choose to transfer the matter to superior court if the juvenile has allegedly committed an offense that would be a Class D felony if committed by an adult.

Part V

Adds the following content.

Enacts GS 7B-308.1 to require a juvenile court counselor to report to the respective county director of the department of social services (director) any time the juvenile court counselor has cause to suspect that a juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent in the course of the counselor's provision and coordination of multidisciplinary service referrals for juveniles under the age of 10 pursuant to the counselor's duties under GS 143B-831, as amended by the act. Requires the director to immediately begin an assessment and authorizes the director to initiate juvenile proceedings and other appropriate steps authorized under Subchapter I (Abuse, Neglect and Dependency). Allows for the juvenile court counselor to ask the prosecutor to review a director's decision not to file a petition.

Adds the following defined terms to GS 7B-1501 as used in Subchapter II (Undisciplined and Delinquent Juveniles). Defines Child Consultation to mean any child at least 6 years of age and less than 10 who is referred to the Division of Juvenile Justice because it is deemed the child is in need of community resources or services, with provision of services authorized to the child and the child's parent, guardian or custodian. Make Child Consultation cases subject to Subchapter II's confidentiality provisions. Defines consultation complaint to mean a complaint made against a child who is at least 6 years old but less than 10 years old alleged to have committed an offense that would be considered a delinquent offense if committed by a juvenile over the age of 10; requires service by the Juvenile Court Counselor as a Child Consultation. Amends delinquent juvenile to include juveniles at least 10 years old (previously included juveniles at least 6 years old). 

Enacts GS 7B-1605 to grant the court jurisdiction over the parent, guardian, or custodian of any child under the age of 10 who is receiving Child Consultation services, with continued jurisdiction over a parent, guardian, or custodian alleged to be in noncompliance with Child Consultation recommendations for up to nine months or until terminated by court order.

Amends GS 7B-1700.1 to require a juvenile court counselor or any person who suspects a child under the age of 10 who is receiving multidisciplinary services pursuant to GS 143B-831, as amended, is abused, neglected, or dependent, or has died as the result of maltreatment, to report to the appropriate director as required by GS 7B-308.1, as amended. 

Adds to the preliminary inquiry requirements of juvenile court counselors under GS 7B-1701 to include inquiring as to jurisdiction of a juvenile under 10 who must be served as Child Consultation. Allows the juvenile court counselor to accept a complaint or Child Consultation for a child under the age of 10 that has insufficiencies fatal to other juvenile petitions. Makes conforming and clarifying changes. 

Makes the time period set forth under GS 7B-1703 for a juvenile court counselor to evaluate a complaint and decide whether a complaint should be filed as a juvenile petition also applicable to a decision to file a Child Consultation complaint for a child under 10. Requires the juvenile court counselor to obtain referral information upon determining the child must proceed to receiving a Child Consultation. Makes conforming changes. 

Enacts GS 7B-1706.1 to require juvenile court counselors to provide case management services (including screenings, assessments, community resources and programming) for a child under age 10 under a Child Consultation for up to six months, with an extension permitted for up to three months with approval of the chief court counselor. 

Adds to the summons requirements under GS 7B-1805 and GS 7B-1806 to include issuance of summons after a petition is filed alleging noncompliance with Child Consultation recommendations, printed on a form supplied by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) with notices and advice included as specified. Requires personal service upon the parent, guardian, or custodian not less than five days prior to the date of the scheduled hearing. Makes conforming changes. 

Further amends GS 7B-1806 to authorize the court to issue a show cause order for contempt against a parent, guardian, or custodian who is personally served and fails without reasonable cause to appear or (was, and) to bring the juvenile before the court. 

Expands GS 7B-2502, concerning the evaluation and treatment of undisciplined and delinquent juveniles, to include evaluations and treatment of a child.

Enacts Article 34A to the Chapter to provide as follows. Requires the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child under 10 to attend all scheduled meetings with the juvenile court counselor subject to sufficient notice. Authorizes the juvenile court counselor to direct the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child under 10 to attend evidence-based parenting classes as available in the district of residency. Requires the juvenile court counselor to work with the parent, guardian, or custodian to obtain evaluations or treatment for the child as needed or recommended, and to finds means for paying for such services. Requires a juvenile court counselor to advise the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child to be directly involved and participate in the child's evaluation or treatment with written recommendations of a qualified physician, surgeon, or mental health provider if it is determined to be in the best interest of the child. Authorizes the juvenile court counselor to recommend the parent, guardian or custodian to undergo evaluation, treatment, or counseling with written orders or recommendations from a qualified mental or physical health provider directed toward remedying the behaviors or conditions that led or contributed to the child's receipt of a Child Consultation; provides for recommendations to seek funding for such evaluations and treatments. 

Authorizes the juvenile court counselor to assist with transportation to keep an appointment or to comply with the recommendations of the juvenile court counselor. Authorizes the juvenile court counselor to file a petition alleging the parent, guardian, or custodian to be in noncompliance with the Child Consultation recommendations. Details required content and form of the petition, with copies required to be provided for necessary parties. Provides for issuance and service of summons, and provision of notice for any hearing on the petition. Requires collaboration with the parent, guardian, or custodian, the Department of Social Services, the LME/MCO, the local education authority, and all other involved community stakeholders, identified as the Child Family Team, who are required to be invited to all meetings scheduled with the child and parent, guardian, or custodian. 

Requires hearings on noncompliance petitions to be held within 30 days of filing. Provides for hearing procedures, placing the burden of proof upon the State, and authorizes the court to order compliance if the court finds noncompliance by the greater weight of the evidence. 

Prohibits employment discrimination due to an employee's compliance with the Article's provisions. Requires enforcement by the Commissioner of Labor.

Provides for orders for contempt upon motion of the juvenile court counselor or sua sponte. Provides for the appointment of counsel for the parent, guardian, or custodian.

Enacts GS 143B-805(4b) to add consultation complaint to the defined terms applicable to Subpart B, Part 3 of Article 13, which governs the Juvenile Justice Section (Section) of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety. Defines the term as newly defined in GS 7B-1501. Also modifies delinquent juvenile to restrict the term to children over the age of 10.

Adds to the powers and duties of the Section under GS 143B-806 to include planning, developing, and coordinating comprehensive multidisciplinary services for children under 10 who engage in acts that would constitute juvenile delinquency had they reached age 10 or older. 

Expands the definition of intensive intervention services as the term is used in the requirement for an annual evaluation of the services under GS 143B-811, to include evidence-based or research-supported community-based or residential services that are necessary for a juvenile to prevent deeper involvement in the juvenile justice system. 

Adds to the powers and duties of juvenile court counselors under GS 143B-831 to include the provision and coordination of multidisciplinary service referrals for the prevention of juvenile delinquency and early intervention for juveniles, including children under the age of 10 who engage in acts that would constitute juvenile delinquency had they reached age 10 or older. Enacts provisions mirroring the duty of a juvenile court counselor to report suspected abuse, neglect, or dependency under GS 7B-308.1 and GS 7B-1700.1, as amended. 

Adds to the powers and duties of county Juvenile Crime Prevention Councils to include biennially reviewing and assessing on an ongoing basis the needs of youth in the county who are under the age of 10 who engage in acts that would constitute juvenile delinquency had they reached the age of 10 or older. 

Amends GS 143B-853 to expand the definition of intensive intervention services as the term is used in the annual reporting requirement by the Section on the results of the services under GS 143B-853, to include evidence-based or research-supported community-based or residential services that are necessary for a juvenile to prevent deeper involvement in the juvenile justice system. 

Maintains the act's effective date of December 1, 2021.

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