5.00.060     JUVENILES        (CALEA 44.2.1)


Alternatives to Juvenile Court Referral 


All juvenile offenders will be handled in a manner in accordance with Department policy and RCW 13.40, taking into account the type and degree of violation involved and the age and criminal history of the offender.  When dealing with a juvenile offender, all officers will use the least coercive action, among reasonable alternatives, consistent with preserving public safety, order and individual liberty.


In response to the needs of youthful offenders, and as an alternative to referral to Juvenile Court, officers may consider the release of a juvenile upon the notification of parent/guardian.  Officers need not take any further action.


Officers are accorded the discretionary ability to adjust minor cases informally after giving consideration to the type and degree of violation, the age and criminal history of the offender, and the responsiveness of the parent/guardian.  This may include the release of the juvenile with a warning and guarantee of discipline.


In all cases the handling officer will complete and submit a Field Interview Report.


Juvenile Court Referral/When Appropriate 


Procedures governing the referral of offenders to the juvenile justice system (Intake) are specified in RCW 13.40.


Referrals should be made on serious criminal offenses or repeated criminal offenses.  Offenses requiring referral to juvenile court should include, but not be limited to:


v     All felony offenses


v     Misdemeanor offenses where:


1.    Offense was against the person of another individual


2.    Offense involves restitution


3.    Offense involves alcohol or drugs, or firearms


4.    Incidents involving obstruction or flight to avoid arrest


v     Incidents where parental supervision is not effective


v     All Domestic Violence related crimes


Referral Procedure/Filing of Juvenile Case - Ordering of a Juvenile into Court  (CALEA 44.2.1)


Procedures governing the issuance of a citation in lieu of taking the juvenile into custody (in-station booking) will be in accordance with Department Policy/Procedures.


Juveniles can only be placed at the King County Youth Center if they meet KCYC detention criteria.  Refer to in-custody juvenile situations below.


Consideration of the offender’s past record, probation status, type of offense, injuries to the victim should be included in the making of such decision.


Arresting Officer's Responsibilities  (CALEA 44.2.2)


Taking a juvenile into custody will be done in compliance with Department policies and procedures.  Prior to taking the juvenile into custody, the officer shall determine whether or not the juvenile is:


v     Involved in non-criminal misbehavior not requiring arrest


v     In danger of being harmed or has been harmed 


If arrest is warranted, the arresting officer shall ensure that the juvenile is advised of his/her constitutional rights including special rights as stated on the Department issued rights card. 


The arresting officer will notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the arrest and surrounding circumstances as soon as is possible.  When the arresting officer is unable to contact the parents prior to the end of his shift, the officer must arrange for an officer from the following shift to do so.  When parental notification is impossible, the record of attempts to contact must be included in the arrest report narrative.


If the juvenile is to be released to a responsible adult rather than to a parent/guardian, the releasing officer will obtain current identification from the responsible adult and the address/phone number where the juvenile will be taken. 


Case Filings


For additional information, refer to the Procedures for Filing Criminal Paperwork published and updated as necessary by the Court Liaison Office.


Filing of Felony criminal charges against a juvenile requires the following:


v     A completed case report that is approved by a supervisor


v     Copies of the case report for each defendant with the following documents attached:


1.      One signed original Certification for Determination of Probable Cause.  Create and sign a backup copy to be placed in the case jacket in case the original is lost


2.      One Prosecutor Face Sheet


3.      If the juvenile was booked into the Youth Center, officers must attach a SIR form to the case with the PCN number written in the PCN box at the top of the form


Juvenile filing paperwork is to be left in the appropriate in-box in the Court Liaison Office where the case will be entered into the tracking database and then mailed or delivered to the prosecutor.


Filing of misdemeanor criminal charges against a juvenile requires a completed case report approved by a supervisor.


All reports must be signed under penalty of perjury by each officer who writes a report or supplementary report.  A copy of the case and supportive documentation for each defendant must be delivered to the Court Liaison Office for tracking and delivery.


Original case copies are sent to Records.


Court Filing Rules


If the juvenile is in custody, the case must be filed within 72 hours from the time of booking, excluding weekends and holidays.  In order to meet the 72 hour filing deadline, police paperwork must be submitted to the prosecutor’s office no later than six hours prior to the deadline.


All other felony and misdemeanor cases are due 14 days after the completion of the police investigation.


Juvenile Detention (In-Custody) Procedures


Procedures relating to the handling of juveniles taken into custody will be in accordance with RCW 13.04 and Investigative Procedures (filing of juvenile cases).  Advisement of rights will be in accordance with State requirements under Miranda.


Detention at King County Youth Center


Juveniles may be detained at the King County Youth Center (KCYC) under the following circumstances: (Automatic Detention)


v     Class A Felony

v     Class B Felony (except Burglary 2nd, Residential Burglary)


v     Sex Offense (Except Indecent Exposure)


v     Domestic Violence


v     Firearm Possession


v     No Verification of ID


v     Felony Harassment

v     Warrants


If offenses other than the above are involved, juveniles may be detained if circumstances listed below are involved:


v     Threat to Community Safety


v     Threat to Victim/Witnesses


v     Threat to harm themselves


v     Threat to harm to youth


v     Likely failure to appear (transient or prior FTA’s)


v     Prior Detention on Felony within seven days


v     Substantial Criminal History (recent release from detention, 3 or more bookings within the last 6 months)


King County Youth Center Admissions/Hearing Policy


If a juvenile is to be detained at the King County Juvenile Detention Center, the arresting officer will contact the Admissions Office, explain the circumstances necessitating detention, and obtain authorization to detain.  An officer will then transport the juvenile as soon as possible to the Admissions Office of the detention center with appropriate paperwork.  An S.I.R. Report is required to hold a juvenile in custody.


State law requires that a hearing for the juvenile be held within 72 hours after incarceration.


Officers will complete a case report detailing the facts of the offense for which the juvenile was arrested and present that information to the Juvenile Court within that time period.  The case report must be complete and include all face sheets and statements.


The arresting officer will contact the parent or guardian of the affected juvenile as soon as practical following the arrest and advise of the disposition of the juvenile.


Taking Juvenile into Custody/Other Than Criminal Offense


In addition to procedures for taking of a juvenile into custody for a criminal offense, provisions for handling juveniles as status offenders, or juveniles alleged to have been harmed or who are in danger of harm are mandated by RCW 13.32A.050, 060, 070, and RCW 28A.27.070 (Truancy).


A juvenile may be taken into custody pursuant to an order of the court or on the basis of probable cause subject to the laws of arrest.


A law enforcement officer may take into custody a juvenile without a court order if there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile is abused or neglected and that the juvenile would be injured if not taken into immediate custody.


A juvenile may be taken into custody if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the child is a runaway.


Custodial Interrogation of Juveniles  (CALEA 44.2.3)


The arresting officer should consider the appropriateness of conferring with the juvenile’s parents or guardian prior to a custodial interrogation.  If there is any doubt, a supervisor will be consulted.


The duration of juvenile interrogations and the number of officers involved will be minimized according to the situation at hand and in consideration of the age of the juvenile, the location of the interview and the gravity and scope of the offense.  Additional factors relating to interrogations are mandated by "Miranda", applicable State law and King County Juvenile Court Policy.


Any officer questioning a juvenile offender or suspect should make certain that the juvenile understands the Department’s policies on handling juveniles, juvenile crimes and juvenile justice procedures as it relates to the investigation or contact. 


Officers will include in their case report the following information:


v     Documenting attempts or actual contact with the juvenile’s parents or guardians


v     The duration of any interrogation with the juvenile and the number of officers involved in the interrogation; and,


v     Explaining agency and juvenile justice system procedures to juveniles being interrogated


Runaways  (CALEA 41.2.6)


The Department will immediately respond and investigate all cases of juveniles reported as runaways.  Runaway cases will be investigated as missing persons until information indicates otherwise.


Detaining a Runaway


A runaway will be taken into custody if:


v     The Department is contacted by the parent of the child and informed that the child is absent from parental custody without consent; or


v     The officer reasonably believes that a runaway is in circumstances which constitute a danger to his/her physical safety; or



v     An agency or person legally charged with the supervision of a child has notified the Department that the child has runaway from placement; or


v     The Department is notified by the juvenile court that the court finds probable cause exists to believe that the child has violated a court placement order


In no event will physical custody extend beyond the amount of time reasonably necessary to transport the child to a destination authorized by law and to place the child at that destination.


Runaways taken into custody will be informed of the reason.


When a runaway cannot reasonably be released to a parent or other responsible adult, as outlined below, the runaway will be transported to a DSHS designated facility.


Prior to transport, officers will personally contact DSHS by telephone to determine which DSHS facility is available.


Runaways will not be transported to and detained in the King County Youth Center or other secure facility except when:


v     Detention is ordered by the Court or DSHS; or


v     The runaway is taken into custody pursuant to a judicial finding of probable cause; or


v     The runaway, based on evidence discovered during custody, becomes a suspect in a criminal investigation and juvenile arrest procedures dictate such detention


If a runaway is taken into custody based on agency notification, the officer will transport the runaway to a DSHS designated CRC.


If a runaway is taken into custody based on a court finding of probable cause, the officer will either:


v     Transport the runaway to a DSHS designated CRC; or


v     Transport the runaway to a juvenile detention facility


Release/Disposition of a Runaway


If a runaway is taken into custody based upon parental notification or the officer's reasonable belief that the runaway is in dangerous circumstances, the officer will:


v     Transport the runaway to his/her home, release to parental custody and inform the parent of the reason for custody, or


v     Take the runaway to a DSHS designated crisis residential center (CRC) or to the home of a responsible adult if:


1.      The runaway is fearful or distressed at the prospect of returning home; or


2.      The officer believes there is a possibility that the child is experiencing abuse or neglect in the home; or


3.      It is not practical to transport the child to his/her home; or


4.      No parent is available to accept custody.


v     Release to a Responsible Adult


An officer may, at his/her discretion, transport a runaway to the home of a responsible adult other than a parent where the officer reasonably believes the runaway will be provided with adequate care and supervision and where the officer reasonably believes the runaway will remain.


An officer placing a runaway with a responsible adult other than a parent will immediately notify DSHS of the fact of such placement and the reason for taking the runaway into custody.