Bill Summary for S 207 (2021)

Summary date: 

Jun 30 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

House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

Part I

Further revises proposed GS 7B-2600(d), which provides that the court's jurisdiction to modify any order of disposition in a case where the court finds the juvenile to be delinquent continues until one of the following occurs: (1) the juvenile reaches the age of 18 for an offense committed prior to the age of 16; (2) the juvenile reaches the age of 19 for an offense committed while the juvenile was at least 16 but less than 17 years of age; (3) the juvenile reaches 20 years of age for an offense committed while the juvenile was at least 17 years of age; (4) the juvenile reaches the maximum term of commitment authorized in GS 7B-2513, as amended, if committed to the Division for placement in a youth development center; or (5) terminated by the court. Adds clarification that the court's jurisdiction continues until the first occurrence of one of the events described in subdivisions (1) through (5). Adds further clarification that subdivisions (1) through (3) do not apply if subdivision (4) applies. 

Part V.

Makes organizational changes and revises the content of the Part as follows.

Changes the definition of the new term child consultation (no longer Child Consultation) in GS 7B-1501, applicable to Subchapter II (undisciplined and Delinquent Juveniles), to eliminate the jurisdictional authority of the court over the parent, guardian, or custodian for noncompliance with the recommended services pursuant to new GS 7B-1605, now deleted from the act, below. Makes conforming changes throughout the Part to refer to "child consultation" rather than "Child Consultation." Revises the definition of the new term consultation complaint to include complaints made against a child less than 10 years old but at least 6 alleged to have committed an offense that would be considered an undisciplined or delinquent offense if committed by a juvenile over 10 (was, limited to offenses that would be considered a delinquent offense). Similar to the previous amendment of the term delinquent juvenile, amends the term undisciplined juvenile to include juveniles at least 10 years old (previously included juveniles at least 6 years old). 

Amends and adds to the new defined terms added to GS 143B-805, 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 (Division). Adds the term child consultation, and aligns the definition given to that provided in GS 7B-1501, as amended. Revises the definition of the new term consultation complaint to mirror the changes made to the term as now defined in GS 7B-1501, to include complaints made against a child less than 10 years old but at least 6 alleged to have committed an offense that would be considered an undisciplined offense if committed by a juvenile over 10. Similarly, revises the term undisciplined juvenile to include juveniles at least 10 years old. 

Deletes proposed GS 7B-1605, granting 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. Deletes the proposed changes to GS 7B-1805 regarding issuances of summons following filing of a petition alleging such noncompliance. Makes conforming deletions of related proposed changes to GS 7B-1806.

Eliminates the proposed changes to GS 7B-1700.1, requiring 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. 

Makes conforming changes to GS 7B-2102 (Fingerprinting and photographing juveniles) and GS 7B-2513 (Commitment of delinquent juvenile to Division) to reflect the increased minimum age of the defined terms. 

Modifies proposed GS 7B-308.1, providing for the authority of a juvenile court counselor. Eliminates the requirement for the director of social services to immediately begin an assessment and authority to initiate juvenile proceedings and other appropriate steps authorized under Subchapter I (Abuse, Neglect and Dependency) upon a counselor reporting suspected abuse, neglect, or dependency of a child in the course of the provision and coordination of multidisciplinary service referrals.

Revises the proposed changes to GS 7B-1703. 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 for the complaint to be handled (rather than filed) as a child consultation complaint for a child under 10. Changes statutory cross-references.

Revises new GS 7B-1706.1 to explicitly limit child consultation services to children at least six years of age. 

Deletes the proposed changes to GS 7B-2502, concerning the evaluation and treatment of undisciplined and delinquent juveniles.

Revises new Article 34A of GS Chapter 7B as follows. Requires the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child being provided services through child consultation (was, a child under 10) to attend all scheduled meetings with the juvenile court counselor subject to sufficient notice. Makes changes throughout to refer to "a child being provided services through a child consultation" or "receiving child consultation services," rather than "a child under under 10." Now authorizes the juvenile court counselor to direct the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child being provided services through a child consultation to attend parental responsibility classes (was, evidence-based parenting classes) as available in the district of residency. Makes technical and clarifying changes. No longer references treatment under GS 7B-2502.

Replaces the content of proposed GS 7B-3408, regarding compliance with recommendations of the juvenile court counselor for children under 10, as follows. Allows the juvenile court counselor to transport the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child receiving child consultation services and the child receiving consultation services to keep an appointment or to comply with the counselor's recommendations. Requires the juvenile court counselor to collaborate with the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child; the Department of Social Services; the LME/MCO; the local education authority; and all other community stakeholders involved with the child and family, labeled the Child and Family Team. Requires all local community agencies involved with the child and family to be invited to all meetings scheduled with the child and parent, guardian, or custodian of the child. Requires the juvenile court counselor to report a parent, guardian, or custodian's refusal to follow the recommendations of the Child and Family Team that puts the child at risk of abuse, neglect, or dependency to the Department of Social Services, who can file a petition under GS 7B-403. Eliminates proposed GS 7B-3409 (Hearing on noncompliance with child compliance recommendations); GS 7B-3410 (Employment discrimination unlawful); and GS 7B-3411 (Contempt for failure to comply). 

Makes similar changes to the proposed new duties of the Section under GS 143B-806 to include planning, developing, and coordinating comprehensive multidisciplinary services for children under 10 who are receiving child consultation services (was, who engage in acts that would constitute juvenile delinquency had they reached age 10 or older). 

Revises the amendment 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 further (rather than deeper) involvement in the juvenile justice system. 

Replaces the content of new subdivision (17b), now adding 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 are in the receipt of child consultation services. Provides 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. 

Similarly amends the added 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 are receiving child consultation services (was, who engage in acts that would constitute juvenile delinquency had they reached the age of 10 or older). Makes technical changes.

Makes conforming changes to GS 7B-3100 to require the Division to adopt rules designating certain local agencies authorized to share information concerning children (was, juveniles only). Expands the provisions of the statute to authorize sharing information by designated agencies relevant to any case in which a child under the age of 10 is receiving child consultation services until the services are closed, subject to existing confidentiality requirements. 

Adds the following new content.

Part VI.

Amends GS 7B-2502, which allows the court to order that a juvenile be examined by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other qualified expert as may be needed for the court to determine the juvenile's needs. Adds the requirement that the court, in the case of a juvenile with a suspected mental illness, developmental disability, or intellectual disability that has been adjudicated delinquent, order that the Section make a referral for a comprehensive clinical assessment or equivalent mental health assessment, unless the court finds an appropriate assessment or equivalent mental health assessment has been conducted within the last 45 days before the adjudication hearing. Requires that the ordered assessment evaluate the juvenile's developmental, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs. Adds that if an assessment is ordered by the court under the statute, it must be reviewed before the date of disposition in the case. Requires a care review team to be convened by the Section and assigned to the case if the court finds sufficient evidence that the juvenile has severe emotional disturbance, a developmental disability, or an intellectual disability, that, in the court's discretion, substantially contributed to the juvenile's delinquent behavior. Defines severe emotional disturbance (under GS 7B-1501) as a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within DSM-5 that resulted in functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits the child's role or functioning in family, school, or community activities in a person who is under the age of 18.

Further amends the statute to require the care review team, which consists of specified individuals, to develop a recommendation plan for appropriate services and resources that address the juvenile's identified needs and submit the recommendation plan to the court in 30 calendar days. Requires the court to review the recommendation plan when determining the juvenile's disposition. Removes the requirement that the court conduct a hearing to determine whether the juvenile is in need of medical, surgical, psychiatric, psychological, or other evaluation or treatment. Instead requires the court to hold a hearing to determine who should pay the assessment, evaluation, or treatment costs pursuant to the statute if the juvenile does snot have health insurance coverage for the recommended treatment. Requires the county to pay for the evaluation or treatment if the court finds the parent or funding from the Juvenile Justice Section (was, parent only) is unable to pay the cost of evaluation or treatment. Deletes the requirement that the county department of social services recommend the facility that will provide the juvenile with evaluation or treatment. Repeals all of subsection (c), concerning the referral of a juvenile to the area mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services director when the court believes, or if there is evidence presented to the effect, that the juvenile has a mental illness or a developmental disability, as well as the resulting duties and process. 

Adds new subsection (c1) to prohibit committing a juvenile directly to a State hospital or State developmental center, and voids orders purporting the same, except for an examination to determine capacity to proceed.

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

Changes the act's long title.

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